With assistant manager Gianfranco Zola announcing (or would it be letting slip?) Chelsea’s interest in Callum Wilson one day before the League Cup quarterfinal against his current club, Bournemouth, the 26-year-old had a sort of public audition at Stamford Bridge last night. Although he did not get too much time on the ball with Chelsea dominating possession, when he did opportunities, he showed good strength and skill and looked like a proper, solid, fundamentally sound centre forward.
Getting Wilson however is not as easy as just declaring our interest and waiting for him to turn up at Cobham. Bournemouth (and their manager Eddie Howe) have no intentions of letting him go, certainly not for cheap and certainly not in January (with 3.5 years still to run on his current contract, too).
“[Selling Wilson?] Not from my perspective, no. Callum is our player, he is very focused on us and you could see that from his performance. He gave everything for the team.”
-Eddie Howe; source: FourFourTwo
Chelsea can obviously offer a ton of money, both to the club and the player, as well as the opportunity to win trophies, but given that this is Wilson’s first productive season in the top flight in four tries and his injury issues (he’s missed 15 of the last 39 months with two ACL tears) that might not be such a wise choice — even if we can move Morata’s massive financial burden off our books. Wilson does count as homegrown however, which is always helpful in ensuring that the squad has enough depth (we can only have 17 non-homegrown players in the 25-man squad).
Chelsea’s stopgap solution at striker twelve months ago has worked out better than expected, but that doesn’t mean we should continue to conduct business in such haphazard fashion. Is Wilson a long-term solution to the Morata-Batshuayi £100m conundrum? Unlikely.