AFC Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson spent the entire summer hoping and talking about how important a full pre-season would be for him.
The 26-year-old is yet to have a full season following promotion to the Premier League in 2015.
That season, Wilson scored 23 goals in 50 appearances in all competitions as AFC Bournemouth won promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time in the clubs history.
But just as Wilson was establishing himself in the Premier League, scoring 5 times in 6 appearances, he suffered a devastating knee injury in September 2015 which would keep him sidelined 7 months.
In January 2017, he then suffered the same injury in his other knee, this time being sidelined for 10 months.
Whilst he played 28 times last season, totalling 1,991 minutes, the most in a single season since the Championship campaign, Wilson scored just 8 goals, endured a run of 12 games without scoring and often was lacking his natural instinct and composure in front of goal.
This season, however, even though it has only been two games, things look different.
Callum Wilson: Has won possession in the attacking third more times (19) than any other player in the Premier League in 2018
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 22, 2018
Thus far this season Wilson has bagged two goals and one assist from the two opening games against Cardiff City and West Ham United.
— Callum Wilson (@CallumWilson) August 18, 2018
Wilson told the Daily Echo…
“…I am still getting tired towards the end of games but, the more I am playing, the fitter and sharper I will get.
“I have always said when I get a good pre-season behind me I feel sharp going into the season and it’s proving that way so far.
“I just need to continue working hard now. I feel good, strong and robust and the hard work in the gym will continue.
“I always look to analyse my game, good and bad. There is always room to improve all the time.”
That goal from Wilson was the kind of goal to really kickstart his season. He’s not been at his old best since the injuries but that goal could give him his previous confidence and ruthlessness back. If that happens, boy are we set up for a hell of a season! – Join the conversation, click here.