Photo credit: jpellgen on Flickr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/)
Written by Kieran Green (Instagram: @kierangjournalism)
The story of Callum Wilson is nothing short of remarkable.
After signing a contract with Coventry City as a teenager, he began to free-fall through the Conference divisions in loan moves in search of game time, before he finally established himself as a key member of the Coventry side in 2014.
A season which finished with Wilson scoring 22 goals and earning a place in the PFA League One ‘Team of the Year’ did enough to convince AFC Bournemouth to reach into their wallet for his signature, where he has since made his mark as a prolific goalscorer in the English top flight.
However with Wilson in his prime at 27, a regular spot in the national side up for grabs, and potential transfers hanging in the balance – is it time for the prolific frontman to part company with the Cherries in the summer?
The work Wilson has put in during his time on the South Coast so far has been excellent. Many would consider signing for a club such as Bournemouth after playing for the then-struggling Kettering in the fifth tier as the pinnacle of their career, but he seemed to be set on improving himself even more.
In his first season, he was able to secure promotion to the Premier League with the Cherries, bagging 20 goals in the process. His talent was clear to see, and he had become a valuable asset to the club in his first season alone.
But then the injuries hit.
After marking a bright start to his time in the top flight with a hat trick against West Ham, a ruptured ACL in September 2015 kept him out until April the following year. Wilson had dealt with niggling knee injuries in the past, but this was the first major blow to his blossoming career in the Premier League.
In the 2016/17 season the same injury occurred again, with another 260 days spent on the sidelines. He was still able to register six goals that term despite missing 25 games, leaving fans wondering what could have been.
This season Wilson has managed to avoid the ligament injuries that have hampered him in the past, striking up a formidable partnership with Ryan Fraser during his best season in the Premier League yet.
His side will now be aiming to push for a top half finish in the table.
Despite one or two small injuries, his form has attracted not only the attention of England manager Gareth Southgate on the international scene, but some of the nation’s heavyweight sides, with clubs such as Chelsea vying for his signature.
In January a lot of speculation built up around the prospect of a big money move to London, with Cherries boss Eddie Howe insisting that one of his most valued players was strictly not for sale. But whilst Howe was successful in retaining his prized asset until at least the end of the season, the speculation will certainly return in the summer months.
With Wilson reaching arguably the peak of his career, and his injury record often proving difficult for Bournemouth, it could be the common case of sell the player whilst he is performing, in order to receive a much higher transfer fee.
Chelsea in particular have been struggling for players of Wilson’s quality in his position recently, with the fans growing frustrated at Willian, so a large transfer fee that could be reinvested into the squad may prove irresistible for the Cherries.
However on the other hand, Wilson is currently performing at a very high level and is rightly adored by the faithful at Vitality Stadium.
The player is clearly happy, and could be scoring goals in the red and black shirt for years to come.
It is unclear whether the time to bid farewell to their number 13 is arriving soon or not at all.
While it will be hoped that Wilson continues to score goals in Bournemouth for the foreseeable future, everyone can agree that he has been as fantastic servant to his club regardless.