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'Looks sharp': Jermain Defoe names the Newcastle United player who's really impressed him lately
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

'Looks sharp': Jermain Defoe names the Newcastle United player who's really impressed him lately

Sunderland legend Jermain Defoe has praised the recent form of Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson.

The World Cup is fast approaching and England do not have a nailed on alternative striker to captain and talisman Harry Kane.

Tammy Abraham is in possession of that role right now, but Wilson has also held it, along with Ivan Toney, Ollie Watkins, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and others.

Defoe spoke about the situation on the Peter Crouch Podcast, in a conversation between two strikers who were generally around the England squad but seldom first choice during their prime.

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Crouch and Defoe on Wilson

Crouch said: “Look at Ivan Toney now. He’s got a chance to break in there. He’s got Harry Kane in front of him. If they only play one, it’s going to be him.

“But he just needs to be the best of the rest. You need that mentality; always when that one chance happens, in the quarters of the World Cup.

“It might happen, you might get that one chance to get your nation through. There’s nothing worse than a player saying he should be playing for England. Shut up and do your job.”

Defoe added: “He just needs to be amongst those names and then anything can happen. If I’m Ivan Toney, Callum Wilson or Ollie Watkins, I’m not thinking I’m not going to play. At a tournament, anything can happen.

“You come on in the semi-final and score. Big moments in games, where sometimes it’s probably better not starting and coming on and making an impact.

“If you score goals consistently at your club, you don’t need to say anything, other people start talking. Callum Wilson looks sharp again, started scoring.

“He’s going to be asked the question, but he doesn’t need to say anything. Of course, he wants to go and play in the World Cup but you’re not going to start posting something because everyone’s going to be talking anyway. Especially with forwards.”

There is an argument for simply taking the striker who is in the best form to deputise for Kane should England need an alternative in the World Cup.

Of course, if the skipper gets injured, whoever the deputy is will get thrust into the limelight to carry the hopes of the nation.

Wilson is playing as well as any of the potential options right now but his injury record could well be a concern for Gareth Southgate.

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