Talking Tactics

Standout players of 2018/19: Callum Wilson

By Adrian Clarke 16 Oct 2018

Adrian Clarke says the AFC Bournemouth forward has upped his game in front of goal this season

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Adrian Clarke selects the players who have caught his eye so far in 2018/19.

Callum Wilson (BOU)

There are positives everywhere at high-flying AFC Bournemouth, but the form of Callum Wilson is one of the highlights.

Looking razor-sharp after an injury-free pre-season, the 26-year-old has been outstanding in the early weeks of 2018/19.

Feeding off the sprightly Ryan Fraser, Josh King and David Brooks behind him, Wilson’s pace and movement has consistently troubled Premier League defenders.

Making dynamic forward runs whenever a counter-attack or transition occurs, he has been a serious handful.

As for end product, Wilson is playing as well as he ever has in a Cherries shirt.

Wilson compared with last season
  2017/18 2018/19
Mins/goal 248.4 232.3
Mins/assist 993.5 174.3
Mins/chance created 104.6 63.4
Mins/shot 49.7 41.0
Darting runs

With an 18 per cent conversion rate there is room for improvement in Wilson’s finishing, but his pace and intelligence ensure he gets plenty of opportunities to score.

Playing for an attack-minded team, his enthusiastic style stretches markers.

He forces them to drop off or darts in behind them, getting into the penalty area more often than many other Premier League strikers.

His 48 touches inside the opposition box ranks seventh-highest in the division.

Creative edge

Wilson has three goals this term.

He swept home with his right foot after a cutback at home to Cardiff City. He then scored a sensational individual goal against West Ham United with a 50-metre dribble, and last time out at Watford he controlled a Fraser cross well after breaking into the area.

But it is his creative side where there has been the most dramatic improvement.

He has doubled his tally of two assists last term to four already, displaying a different side to his game.

Precise deliveries

Usually after forceful runs down the channels, Wilson has delivered high-quality service for his team-mates.

At Watford he picked out King’s head with a precise left-wing cross. He also laid a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of Brooks at home to Crystal Palace, and he split the Leicester City defence with a superb through-ball for Fraser’s second goal.

His first assist of the season on the opening weekend was also a terrific right-wing cutback for Fraser.

Wilson is a quick, hardworking and dangerous striker who has added greater cutting edge to Eddie Howe’s team and is continuing to develop at a rate of knots.

Also in this series

Part 1: Standout players of 2018/19: Lukasz Fabianski
Part 2: Standout players of 2018/19: Jose Holebas
Part 3: Standout players of 2018/19: David Luiz
Part 4: Standout players of 2018/19: Lucas Torreira
Part 5: Standout players of 2018/19: Bernardo Silva

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