Callum Wilson’s hopes of making England’s World Cup squad in Qatar have been boosted by FIFA.
The 30-year-old made it known in the latter stages of last season, when sidelined with a calf injury, of his desire to return the Three Lions set up.
He told the BBC Footballer’s Football Podcast: “If players start the season on fire and are flying come World Cup selection, there’s going to have to be some underdogs who get called up.
“For me, any player who is English is going to want to try and break into that squad. As soon as I’m fit, that’s something that’s on my agenda for the new season.
“As a striker, if come November when the tournament is due to start, if you are on 10 goals, you can’t tell me you don’t then get selected into the squad.
“That’s not talking about myself, you’re talking (Patrick) Bamford, Danny Ings, (Ollie) Watkins, (Dominic) Calvert-Lewin, (Tammy) Abraham, myself.”
World Cup boost for Callum Wilson
After almost five months in recovery last term, Wilson returned for Newcastle United’s remaining three matches and scored twice during the final day win at Burnley.
Wilson is aiming to hit the ground running next season and push for a place in Southgate’s World Cup squad, with the competition, lasting until December 18, getting underway in November.
And the former Bournemouth man’s chances have been lifted after FIFA approved the request for 26-man squads. Normally, World Cup squads are limited to 23 players.
The same, of course, applies to Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope, although they are more likely to be on the plane to Qatar having been two of Southgate’s many regular picks in recent years.
There is also an argument not to forget about Matt Targett, who earned a permanent move to St James’ Park on the back of a hugely successful loan spell last season.
Fabian Schar and Bruno Guimaraes are also in line for a call-up for their respective nations, with both Switzerland and Brazil competiting in the same group.
Eddie Howe and his Newcastle players return for pre-season on July 1.