Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has claimed Cherries striker Callum Wilson has limitless potential and should be considered for England.
The comments made national headlines and many saw the idea as a comical one but the stats show that if Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson were to pick his next squad on form, Wilson would be top of the list.
Not only has the Bournemouth man netted far more goals than his nearest rivals for international honours in the opening few weeks of the Premier League season, but the 23-year-old’s stats also stack up to those around him.
Wilson has bagged five goals from six league outings whereas those ahead of him in the England pecking order have amassed just two between them.
Danny Ings and Saido Berahino have scored one apiece, while Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Daniel Sturridge are yet to get off the mark – albeit with the Liverpool striker only recently returning from injury.
It doesn’t end there, however, with Wilson’s average of two shots per game equalled only by Sturridge – who has played just once this season – and better than all of the other named forwards, with Berahino (1), Kane (1), Rooney (1.6) and Ings (1.7) all coming up short.
As his country’s all-time top scorer no one is claiming Wilson should replace Rooney in the England squad, but in the current climate he has earned a chance to play alongside the Manchester United man.
Sturridge is in need of game time, Kane is woefully short of the surprise form that saw him called up last year, Danny Welbeck is a long-term injury concern for Arsenal, Ings is being used only intermittently at Liverpool and Berahino has netted just three goals in his last 15 games.
The stats also show that Wilson has the selfishness and positional play to do a job for England, with the Bournemouth man averaging just 15 passes per game.
By contrast Sturridge (24), Kane (25.2) and Rooney (37.8) – all firmly ahead of Wilson in Hodgson’s thinking – have shown that they are willing to drop deep in order to get the ball. – sometimes to the detriment of the national side.
England are next in action against Estonia at Wembley on October 9 and if Wilson maintains his current form he – and Howe – can feel rightly aggrieved if he is overlooked.
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