'Perfect' - Exclusive: Bent backs Newcastle to sign 28-yr-old after new twist in the last hour
Darren Bent believes Callum Wilson could be the “perfect replacement” for Dwight Gayle after the Newcastle United striker’s injury setback.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Tottenham and England hitman has backed the Magpies to beat Aston Villa to the capture of the Bournemouth star this summer.
This site detailed earlier this week that Newcastle were in pole position to snap up Wilson ahead of rivals Villa.
Newcastle are set to be missing Gayle, who finished last season as Steve Bruce’s first-choice striker, for up to three months after he suffered a serious injury blow in the club’s pre-season clash with Crewe Alexandra.
Bent believes that Wilson’s arrival at St James’ Park would “soften the blow” for Bruce and offer the Magpies a fit and ready striker option ahead of the new season.
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Bent told Football Insider: “Now for me that would be the perfect replacement with what’s happened to Dwight Gayle, if they can get him in.
“Andy Carroll we know has had his injury problems and if he can stay fit then yeah, I’m all for him but he’s shown he can’t really stay fit so you can’t really depend on that.
“Someone like a Callum Wilson, if you can get him through the door, Villa have been linked with him and they’ve made a bid too but if Newcastle can make him a priority and get him, I think that softens the blow.”
Wilson netted nine goals in 39 appearances last season as Bournemouth were relegated to the Championship.
Gayle meanwhile struck all four of his league goals in Newcastle’s final eight games of the campaign.