Callum Wilson Is on His Way to Becoming Newcastle's Best Striker Since Alan Shearer

Emmanuel Riviere. Yoshinori Muto. Joselu. Aleksander Mitrovic. Joelinton.

These are the names of just a few (expensive) players brought in to lead the Newcastle United front line in recent years. All have failed quite spectacularly.

However, with the shrewd signing of Callum Wilson from Bournemouth this summer, Steve Bruce and his Newcastle side now have an 'out and out' Premier League quality striker who knows where the goal is.

Having scored seven goals in nine appearances, Newcastle fans are starting to wonder if they now have a striker capable of reaching the 20-goal mark this season, a feat which hasn't been achieved since Alan Shearer in 2003/04.

Wilson would be happy to emulate even 'half of what' previous strikers have achieved | Stu Forster/Getty Images

Last year attacking shortcomings were all too familiar for Bruce's Magpies, with strikers Dwight Gayle, Joelinton and Andy Carroll managing just six goals between them all season. Wilson has already surpassed their combined figure with ease, proving to be worth every penny of the £20m paid.

A policy of younger and more risky signings (Joelinton), had previously alienated fans from Mike Ashley's methods of a centre-forward pursuit, as they were left bewildered at Newcastle's refusal to pay the £16m demanded by West Brom for Salomón Rondón after a successful loan spell two seasons ago, subsequently leading to Rafa Benitez's departure.

That episode made Wilson's signing all the more surprising; Ashley was investing in something of a rare commodity in Newcastle, proven Premier League quality.

Upon his announcement, Wilson told NUFC TV: "I've scored goals in the Premier League before.

"I didn't have the greatest season last year, I'd be the first to admit that. Eight goals is not something I even want to associate myself with.

Wilson admitted that his 8 goal return last season for Bournemouth 'wasn't great' | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

"Double figures is something I want to achieve short term and obviously after that you want to get to the 20 mark. Then obviously see where you end up at the end of the season".

He is certainly well on his way to doing that, nearly at double figures already, being outscored by only Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Son Heung-min, Jamie Vardy and Mohamed Salah.

Newcastle haven't had anyone at the top end of the goalscoring charts since Demba Ba. The Senegalese's 16 goal tally in 2011/12, helped Newcastle to a fifth-placed finish, highlighting that the team he was playing in was far superior to Wilson's, who are outsiders to finish in the top half.

The really interesting thing about Wilson so far, is just how clinical he has been. According to BBC Sport, the former Coventry striker has had only 15 shots, with eight on target, resulting in seven goals. Whilst this is likely to be an unsustainable conversion rate, it shows he doesn't need a lot of chances to score. The calibre of which has not been seen in the iconic black and white shirt since Shearer.

Take the most recent 2-0 win at Crystal Palace. Having barely had a sight of goal all game, he scored his first clear cut chance, and set up Joelinton for the second. In previous years, Toon fans might have been used to seeing Gayle or Riviere fluffing their lines on their one good sight at goal, resulting in two points dropped.

Being in red hot form, it is no surprise that Wilson was disappointed to be left out of the England squad announced by Gareth Southgate in October.

Defending his decision to leave him out, Southgate said: "Callum is a player who has worked with us before, but we didn't think it was right to leave Tammy [Abraham] out this time."

Southgate has clearly opted for familiarity within the squad, and not merit as he claimed would be the process by which squads would be picked.