In a very close race, Callum Wilson has narrowly edged out Joe Willock as the NUFC Blog’s Player of the Season for 2020-21. The striker collected 30% of the over 2000 votes to capture our annual poll.
Wilson was as good as advertised during his inaugural season on Tyneside. He was last summer’s marquee signing joining from Bournemouth for £20m. It was a surprise signing as Mike Ashley relaxed his strict transfer policy in signing the then 28-year-old for such a high fee.
Wilson led Newcastle with 12 goals and was joint-second, alongside Allan Saint-Maximin, in assists with 5. He accomplished these feats while missing ten matches due to his two hamstring injuries. Wilson has vowed to come back even stronger next season.
Joe Willock’s outstanding showing deserves some recognition as he was only with Newcastle for 3 1/2 months. However, his impact was massive and he was the talk of the Toon for the final stretch of the season.
Willock ended his productive loan spell with 8 goals in just 14 matches. He finished with a flourish scoring a goal in his last 7 appearances. The hope is he gets a chance to extend that streak as a Magpie next season.
There will be some intense negotiations to get the 21-year-old back in some capacity. It won’t be easy as Arsenal reportedly want up to £30m for the box-to-box midfielder. Newcastle may be out of luck at that price though another loan deal could suit all parties.
Finally, Allan Saint-Maximin rounds out the trio of Magpies who excelled in the poll. The Frenchman just transforms Newcastle when he is on the pitch. There lies the problem as he’s struggled to stay fit over his first couple of seasons with Newcastle.
This past season Allan managed just 19 starts but provided 3 goals and 5 assists. Saint-Maximin’s absence due to the after-effects of Covid during the start of the year played a big part in our plummet down the table.
When he returned, Newcastle were eventually able to get back on track and finish the season strong. Bruce needs to get some quality signings in this summer to keep our star happy. He wants to see Newcastle in the top half of the table and that has to be the only acceptable outcome for next season.
Here is the updated table of our past winners.[table “22” not found /]