Newcastle United’s disappointing run of form continued on Saturday as they were beaten 2-0 by Manchester City at The Etihad in the Premier League.
The Magpies are now five games without a win in all competitions and have won one match in the English top flight, against Fulham, since the turn of the year.
Eddie Howe’s side have only scored twice in their last five outings and their goalscoring woes are proving to be a major hindrance as Callum Wilson continues to misfire up front.
How has Callum Wilson performed this season?
The £46k-per-week striker, whose attempt to score against City was branded “woeful” by journalist Luke Edwards, has found the back of the net once in his last 14 matches in all competitions for the club.
Wilson has scored seven times in 18 Premier League games this season but the goals have dried up for the former Bournemouth centre-forward and, with the England international turning 31 last month, Howe may be thinking about long-term replacements.
Does Callum Wilson need to be dropped?
Alexander Isak, 23, could develop into being the first-choice between now and the end of the season if the Sweden international is given a consistent run of games but the ex-Real Sociedad man would still need competition for his place.
Therefore, Newcastle could need to bring in another striker in the summer to be the heir to Wilson’s position in the squad, whether that is as a starter or as a rotation option for Isak.
Howe could save the club millions by unleashing academy forward Dylan Stephenson, who is currently on loan at Hamilton in Scotland, next season.
Journalist Craig Hope once claimed that the youngster “knows where the net is” and his record for Newcastle at youth level backs that up. The forward scored 17 times and provided four assists in 35 Premier League 2 appearances between the start of 2021/22 and January of this season.
Stephenson joined Hamilton on a temporary deal in the winter market and has scored once and assisted two goals in 339 minutes in all competitions – a direct contribution every 113 minutes.
Wilson, meanwhile, has produced a goal or an assist once every 160 minutes on average for Newcastle in all competitions.
The 20-year-old has clearly shown in his performances for the U21s and Hamilton that he has the potential to regularly make a significant impact at the top end of the pitch, which is something the current Toon centre-forward has been unable to do of late.
Howe must now offer Stephenson the chance to impress him in pre-season ahead of the 2023/24 campaign as the young marksman could well be Wilson’s heir at St. James’ Park.