Eddie Howe hints at recalls for key duo ahead of Newcastle United v Brentford
Eddie Howe has praised two Newcastle United stars that will be hoping for a first start of the season in Saturday’s home game with Brentford.
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The England striker has appeared in all four of the Magpies’ Premier League fixtures so far this season - but is yet to be handed his first start after Howe opted to select Alexander Isak to lead his forward line across the first month of the campaign.
Despite coming off the bench, Wilson has matched the Sweden international on the goalscoring front after finding the net in the opening day win against Aston Villa and the 3-1 defeat his side suffered at Brighton prior to the international break.
Wilson earned his ninth England cap on Tuesday night when he replaced Harry Kane in a 3-1 win over Scotland and there was further good news for the former Bournemouth striker when he signed a one-year contract extension that has committed him to United until the summer of 2025.
Howe praised the striker’s attitude during the first month of the season and revealed Wilson is ‘eager to play’ ahead of Saturday’s home game against the Bees.
“Callum has been really good around the group, he’s been very professional and supportive of his team-mates,” explained the Magpies boss in his pre-match press conference.
“Underneath that, I know he has been eager to play and eager to not play necessarily for himself, but for the team. He wants the team to do well.
“He’s obviously got his individual motivations but I think you saw when he came on against Brighton he came on in a really good place and scored a really good goal for us.
“Of course, he’s right in the frame.”
With news awaited over the fitness of Sandro Tonali, there have been suggestions Sean Longstaff could be handed his first start of the season in place of the Italy international. The Magpies academy product has come off the bench in all four of United’s Premier League fixtures so far this season - but an injury suffered by Tonali on international duty could well hand him a maiden start of the campaign.
Howe, who has always been a keen admirer of Longstaff, described the Geordie midfielder as ‘a top player’ and pointed to one key strength he believes is ‘underrated’.
He said: “I think the team missed him (Longstaff) at the back end of last season, not just the beginning of this.
“I think he’s got unbelievable endurance levels, fitness-wise he’s an incredible athlete, which is probably sometimes underrated. But also his brain, he’s got a very good understanding of how we want to play. Positionally, he’s very good and he’s got a really good range of passing. Sean is a top player.”