The Lowdown: Replacement is essential
For most of the transfer window, the talk has been about Newcastle bringing in a new midfielder, which is understandable given the injuries to players such as Bruno Guimaraes, Jonjo Shelvey and Elliot Anderson.
However, tactics will indeed have to change with Wood set to leave for the remainder of the season, leaving Eddie Howe with just two options through the middle in the form of Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak, who both have suspect injury records.
The Latest: PIF must hand Howe a new striker
Given that Wood appears set to join Forest in the coming days, Cronin has admitted on the Loaded Mag YouTube channel that the Magpies must have a new striker lined up, or the deal would make very little sense.
He said: “From my understanding, there’s still a little bit to go, but it does look like he will leave for Nottingham Forest. I think with Newcastle now, it’s just a case of finding a replacement if they haven’t already found a replacement.
“I’d imagine if the Chris Wood deal has progressed, then they probably have someone lined up because they’re not going to let him go without bringing someone else in, because as we’ve seen from Callum Wilson’s injury record – even Alexander Isak as well, he’s picked up a bad injury that he’s gradually recovering from as well – so if you let Chris Wood leave, it leaves them very light in that striking position as well so I do imagine they will have someone lined up.”
The Verdict: Wood’s departure a risky move
The fact that Wood has spent a year on Tyneside and will be accustomed to the way Howe wants to play as well as how he wants his players to act on and off the pitch, it appears risky allowing him to leave and then bringing in an unknown quantity mid-season.
Wood will clearly be keen on playing more regular first-team football having started just six games across all competitions this season, but the fact he could have played backup, potentially won some silverware and finished in the top four, it’s an interesting move from the striker.
Newcastle have been linked with a move for Youssoufa Moukoko from Borussia Dortmund, and given his age and experience at first-team level, he could be the ideal player for Eddie Howe to develop into a star on Tyneside.
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