That Callum Wilson appears in transfer gossip columns just days after returning from a serious knee injury is testament to the loony nature of rumours and the striker’s obvious ability in equal measure.
Against Aston Villa last weekend, the Bournemouth striker made his first appearance since suffering a September cruciate ligament rupture, coming on as a substitute in the final minute. By Wednesday morning, he was the supposed subject of interest from a pair of top-six sides.
According to the Sun, both Tottenham and West Ham are keeping close tabs on the 24-year-old’s recovery, with a view to bolstering their forward line with the former Coventry man in the summer.
It cannot be denied that Wilson made a blistering start to life as a Premier League striker, scoring five times in seven outings before getting injured, but a leap into the division’s upper echelons feels rather premature.
Wilson has gained just 543 minutes of top-flight experience in his career and, despite a scoring record in the lower leagues which suggests the raw ability to succeed is there, he’ll need far more than that to muscle in to either suitor’s first XIs.
A repeated mistake by many a flourishing Premier League youth is to jump at the first opportunity to join a bigger club, perhaps in fear that the chance may never come again.
What usually follows is a prolonged period of bench warming, a regression in their development and a frantic pounding of the career-reset button when moving back down the ladder to find some game time. See Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair, Wilfried Zaha and future Raheem Sterling for examples of that trend.
Rather than mimic those errors, Wilson should remain a Cherry. Another couple of injury-free seasons leading the line for Eddie Howe will not only ensure regular minutes, but will benefit the club in the long run.
Should Wilson continue to prove he belongs at a higher level, Bournemouth can sell the Midlands native to a top-tier team in his prime for a fair whack. Who knows, maybe the south coasters develop into a top-six side themselves and have little need to cash in.
Unless either the Lilywhites or Hammers come forward with an eye-watering offer which, in the barmy modern-day market for young English players remains entirely plausible, there really is no need to cut ties.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.