Callum Wilson reveals the truth behind his mystery Newcastle United illness amid England call-up

Callum Wilson has revealed why he was unwell, which forced him to miss one-and-half-games for Newcastle United.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson has revealed he tested positive for Covid-19 after feeling unwell last week.

The Magpies No.9 was forced off at half-time during the 4-1 win at Southampton and then missed the third round Carabao Cup penalty shootout victory over Crystal Palace a few days later.

Wilson had been training separately from his teammates before testing negative prior to Saturday evening’s 1-0 win over Chelsea, where he came on as a substitute for the remaining 15 minutes.

It was an eventful week for the 30-year-old, who was called up to Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England World Cup squad. And when discussing how he found out about his call-up, Wilson revealed details of his illness.

Callum Wilson on England - and Covid-19

Wilson, speaking on the BBC Footballer’s Football Podcast about his World Cup selection, said: “It was crazy, I was taken aback, to be honest. You’re wishing and praying to get in or you feel you might have done enough but until you get that message, nothing is set in stone.

“I was at the training ground and I was doing my session outside. I was working on my own because last week I had coronavirus, so that wiped me out differently, unfortunately. I had to work one-to-one until I was negative.

“I came in from the training group and the lads are like ‘Cal, have you not heard anything?’ Tripps (Kieran Trippier) is sitting there just smiling so I’m thinking ‘he must have had a message’ but I had nothing!

“They were like ‘check your phone’ but I don’t have my WhatsApp notifications coming up. That day I did put them on so I had a few WhatsApp notifications but none of them were from anyone apart of the England set-up.

“I’d gone into the archive... It’s a long time since I’ve been in the squad but the message was there I was happy. I got told before that it was allowed to be announced but I kept a straight face and the lads were like ‘you’re not really smiling and you’re not really disappointed’. I told them I hadn’t received anything yet.”

Wilson, alongside Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope, linked up with his England teammates on Monday ahead of flying out to Qatar.

“I’m delighted, over the moon,” Wilson added. “I’m glad the Chelsea game is done now as well which is another good victory. 30 points in now, so that’s fantastic. For us, this time last year I don’t think we had a win yet. It’s crazy how far we’ve come. The hard work will continue after the focus switches back from England.

“Hopefully we’ve got a trophy and World Cup to come back with.”

Newcastle’s first game after the five-and-a-half-week World Cup break is against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup before making the Boxing Day trip to Leicester City in the Premier League.