Callum Wilson confirms he WON’T take the No 9 shirt at Newcastle as Joelinton gets to keep the legendary jersey despite his miserable goal return – and new £20m man reveals he’ll stick with 13
- Callum Wilson has confirmed he will take the No 13 shirt instead of the No 9
- After a dismal campaign, Joelinton risked losing the iconic No 9 shirt
- Newcastle’s £40m record-buy managed two goals in his first year at the club
- However, Wilson revealed he would wear the No 13 for Newcastle this season
Steve Bruce has confirmed that club-record signing Joelinton will keep Newcastle’s iconic No.9 shirt – but new boy Callum Wilson looks set to kick off the season with the starting jersey.
Joelinton only returned to training last week after what we understand was a period in quarantine.
There were reports that the Brazilian – who scored just two league goals last season – would be stripped of his squad number in favour of Wilson, who arrived on Monday in a £20million deal from Bournemouth.
Callum Wilson has confirmed he will wear the No 13 shirt for Newcastle United
But Bruce said: ‘Joe is training now. He’s okay. He’ll remain with the No.9 shirt. I’ve spoken to Callum on that. He’ll wear 13.
‘The kid (Joelinton) still has a big future and I think he’ll be better for last year. The type of character he is, I’m convinced he’ll roll up his sleeves at the challenge that lies ahead.
‘It’s a big wake-up call and he’s found it difficult. But there are many others struggle to adapt. That’s why I wanted to go down the route of, “Been there, done it, got the T-shirt” with Callum.’
After a dismal debut campaign, £40m record-buy Joelinton risked losing the iconic No 9 shirt
Wilson is likely to start at West Ham on Saturday evening having trained this week. And he is relaxed about the situation with the shirt numbers.
‘The No.9 shirt is taken,’ he said. ‘Quite frankly, I’m not going to come in and take shirts off players.
‘I want to come in and get my feet under the table and settle in and not cause disruption. If it was available, don’t get me wrong, I would have snapped it with both hands, but, for now, it’s not.
The Brazilian scored just two league goals last season after his club-record £40m transfer
‘The shirt’s just a number at the end of the day – I’m playing for the badge at the front.’
Meanwhile, Bruce has confirmed that Matt Ritchie was interested in moving to Bournemouth as part of the deal that brought Wilson to Tyneside, but the head coach now hopes he will remain at St James’ Park.
‘All along with it, I wanted him to stay,’ said Bruce. ‘It’s fair to say that Bournemouth turned his head and didn’t come up with the deal that he wanted and, from my respect, he’s staying. Whether that will change…’
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The 28-year-old striker wore the No 13 shirt during his six years with Bournemouth
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