Adam Wilson: Who is the English-born former Newcastle United winger called up by Harambee Stars?

Adam Wilson: Who is the English-born former Newcastle United winger called up by Harambee Stars?

Mark Kinyanjui 15:30 - 20.05.2024

Who is the little-known former Newcastle United forward that has been drafted into the Harambee Stars squad for their upcoming World Cup quailifying games against Burundi and Ivory Coast?

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat called up little known English-born forward Adam Ayiro Wilson to his squad for the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifying games against Ivory Coast and Burundi this June.

The decision caught keen observers by surprise, as not many with a keen interest in Kenyan football knew much about the Bradford City forward.

But who exactly is the 24-year-old? And why did he accept a call up to the set up? Pulse Sports Kenya brings you up to speed with who Wilson is.

Who is Adam Wilson?

The exciting winger began his career at Premier League side Newcastle United, scoring 11 goals in 61 appearances for the Magpies’ U21s.

His time at Newcastle was however plagued by injuries, suffering thigh and ankle injuries.

In a hunt for regular game-time, the highly-rated youngster joined Welsh Premier League side TNS in September 2022. 

In his maiden campaign across the border, the 5ft 10ins attacker contributed seven goals in 23 appearances as TNS secured a domestic double. 

Before switching Wales for England, he was crowned the Supporter’s Player of the Year at TNS.

Why was he called up by Harambee Stars?

The fleet footed winger is eligible to play for Harambee Stars by virtue of one of his parents being Kenyan.

However, he has already featured for the England Under 18 side. He made debut in March 2018, and went on to  make four appearances in total

How does Wilson play?

A left footed player, Wilson plays as a left winger, although he can also play as a left back. He can also play as an inverted right winger so he can cut inside and do the damage with his favorite foot.

Although he has recently found gametime difficult to come by at Bradford, he has looked impressive whenever played with his willingness to run directly as people.

He can also combine well with people and look for those little pockets of space, something that could be a breath of fresh air for Stars.

There is one concern though. He has been available for selection for much of the season, but has not played much ever since March 23, when he played for 27 minutes in a 3-0 loss to Harrogate town. His international teammate Clarke Oduor has featured more times for the side, but failed to be called up.

How could he fit the Harambee Stars set up?

Wilson would be a breath of fresh air and bring something the squad does not have. Firat has either had to use full backs, strikers or midfielders as wingers since the Turk took over back in September 2021.

He has been playing Masoud Juma, John Avire and Elvis Rupia in the position despite being natural center forwards, or full backs like Daniel Sakari and Rooney Onyango in the position. Even natural midfielders like Victor Omune and Timothy Ouma have had to play there, but in Wilson, Firat has a natural winger who would be a stylistic fit.

During their loss to South Sudan last September, Firat decried a lack of players who can take men on one v one, and Wilson could offer a huge solution.

What has been said about Wilson?

Bradford head coach Graham Alexander explained why Adam Wilson has not played alot since he took over from Mark Hughes late last year to the media back in February.

Alexander switched the playing system and admitted the one-time Newcastle trainee became a victim of the large numbers in the squad. 

“If his training is good, he’s competitive and showing the right levels, he’ll have an opportunity to play for us.

“Maybe the last month has been a culmination of what I was saying previously that the squad was too big.

“What I didn’t want to was come into Bradford with 27 players and say, ‘right, over the next month I’m going to look at every single one of them’.

“That would have been too much change and rotation and people wouldn’t know where they stand.

“We had to start with a group that we felt would get results which they did. Eventually we would have the opportunity to see others more regularly."

“There’ll be players that you won’t have seen a lot of for the last month or so. But they are still competing to be in the team."