There aren’t many players I take much of an interest in after they leave the Sky Blues. Of course there have been plenty who I’ve been gutted to see go, but the feeling usually subsides after a few days. Jukey, Keogh, Tabb – all stand out in my mind as players who I loved for one reason or another, but soon got over them. Don’t get me wrong, Keogh is still great value as a bloke, but I really couldn’t give a monkeys how he’s doing on X Factor.
However because I was never truly able to appreciate Callum Wilson, there’s still a sense of obsession and intrigue about what he’s going to achieve. For me it’s the regret of nurturing such a devastating player, but missing out on properly seeing him play that really winds me up. It’s rotten to think that due to Sixfields hoopla there are thousands of City fans who have missed out on watching a gem of a Cov lad play some stunning football for his hometown team.
Before this season I whacked a few quid on him to be top scorer in the Championship, and also got a excited and suggested with a bit of luck he could eventually play for England. There’s no money on that one, but I stand by it as a possibility. He’s so much more than the lightning quick striker that many of the pundits are enjoying labelling him as, but it’s that pace which is going to help him get to the top.
While a call up to the under 21s at the age of 22 might strike you as a little bit of an afterthought, you can’t help but see it as an opportunity for him to really make a name for himself in the mainstream. One thing I noted for us was the clear impact once he realised just how much better he was than his League One peers. He’d done very little in the first team in his opening five or ten sub appearances, but as soon as Pressley put his faith in him, the switch in application and end-product was immediate. It’s still early days, but he’s now proving he’s got the measure of the Championship as well. Here’s hoping he can maintain the same belief as he looks to proves his credentials among the cream of England’s youth set up. A good week in training and some game time could really ignite his ascent.
Obviously it feels odd to be blogging about a former player, but you have to feel delighted for the lad. It’s great to see him doing so well, so soon after his move, and I have no doubt that his progression will continue over the next 12 months.
My prediction for that timescale? Don’t be surprised to see him in the Premiership next season. Either he’ll fire Bournemouth to promotion which would be a fairytale in itself, or what’s more likely is someone will a very worthwhile punt on him, á la Burnley with Jutkiewicz.
And why wouldn’t you? A young, strong, skillful, blisteringly quick English striker with a thirst for goals and sky-high confidence. What’s not to love?