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Opinion

Chris Wood for Newcastle United makes total sense (and Tarkowski, Cantwell…)

2 weeks ago
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Chris Wood to Newcastle United has been one of the latest transfer window headlines.

One of MANY January transfer window headlines concerning Newcastle United.

Trying to separate the serious targets from the cast of thousands NUFC have been linked with, is the tricky bit.

However, I do get the sense that Chris Wood IS somebody who features somewhere on the list of strikers Newcastle United are considering making a serious bid for.

The Burnley forward may not be top of that list but the NUFC owners are operating in a January market where it isn’t easy to land players for all kinds of reasons, so flexibility is the name of the game. Especially when it comes to up front and Callum Wilson out for at least the next eight weeks.

The question of why would Burnley sell to a relegation rival appears to have been answered, if reports can be relied on that Chris Wood has a release clause price in his contract.

None of us can know for sure on that BUT it does at face value raise the possibility that Wood is a striker Newcastle could sign, if the player wants to come and his club potentially not being able to do anything about it.

That then leads us to whether Chris Wood be right for Newcastle United?

When it comes to signing any player, the biggest consideration is taking into account your current position and options. The stronger you are and the better players you have, the more difficult it is to find outsiders that would improve your team / squad. That is NOT the case at Newcastle United.

Despite that, I have noticed a fair bit of negativity from Newcastle fans after Chris Wood was reported as a possible target. Always difficult to know exactly what the general mood is, as social media / online can be deceptive when you are looking at what supporters are saying.

However, regardless of that, this is why I think Chris Wood would be a more than credible signing if Newcastle move for him.

In his four full Premier League seasons, Chris Wood has got double figures in terms of goals, in all four.

2017/18 he got 10 goals in 20 PL starts (4 sub appearances)

2018/19 he got 10 goals in 29 PL starts (9 sub appearances)

2019/20 he got 14 goals in 29 PL starts (3 sub appearances)

2020/21 he got 12 goals in 32 PL starts (1 sub appearances)

Overall, that is 46 Premier League goals from 110 starts (17 sub appearances)

Considering he plays for Burnley who are invariably at the wrong end of the table and don’t create countless chances, relying more on their defensive game to reach safety, I think that is a pretty impressive record.

I see people pointing to only three goals in 17 PL starts this season and that is fair enough but Burnley have been one of the few teams as woeful as Newcastle. One of only two to score less goals (16) than NUFC (19), Norwich with only eight.

When you add this season’s stats you still get a very decent 49 goals in 127 PL starts (17 sub appearances).

If Newcastle United sign Chris Wood I wouldn’t be disappointed.

He is 30 with 18 months left on his contract and can do a job. Put it this way, having watched that game on Saturday, I don’t know how anybody would turn their nose up at Chris Wood. Cross after cross (I saw a stat of 38 crosses Newcastle put into the box against Cambridge) but it was just pointless as we have nobody who attacks the ball in the absence of Wilson and indeed so often Newcastle didn’t even have anybody in the danger zone when crosses arrived.

I never thought it made sense when Newcastle signed Andy Carroll but on Saturday he would have scored and Newcastle United wouldn’t have lost. To get rid of Carroll in the summer and not sign a single other striker (as well as all the other signings that were desperately needed) was a complete shambles with Ashley and Bruce to blame.

Watford on Saturday and Newcastle United need a striker. We don’t even know if Dwight Gayle will be available, not that I think he is the answer BUT would be better than having nothing / Jacob Murphy ending up going up front, as was the case against Cambridge.

In the absence of Wilson, I also think that not the worst scenario that if Chris Wood arrives, if Newcastle are chasing a goal in the final 20/25 minutes of matches, bringing Gayle off the bench and hitting it long to Wood for hopefully the pair to combine, if things aren’t working out. It would at least be another plan, a plan that wasn’t there in the second half on Saturday with no striking option to come on.

I also see fans not impressed when Todd Cantwell and James Tarkowski are mentioned.

Once again, maybe not dream signings for a lot of us BUT are they better than what Newcastle currently have?

Well, surely I don’t have to spell out as to why Tarkowski would walk into our defence.

As for Cantwell?

He is a midfielder who runs with the ball, connects play, gets the team up the pitch.

That may not sound revolutionary but for Newcastle United, it is! Apart from ASM we have nobody who carries the ball, especially in midfield. Shelvey, Hayden, Longstaff, Hendrick and so on, it is embarrassing how immobile they are, especially when they are incapable of carrying the ball even the shortest of distances.

The race is on and this trio would be credible signings for NUFC, none more so than Chris Wood. Especially when we are adding players like Kieran Trippier, who can provide excellent delivery into the box and who got 10 assists in 51 La Liga starts in his two full seasons at Atletico Madrid.

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