Newcastle United have confirmed the departure of striker Chris Wood to Nottingham Forest. The deal will see Wood arrive at the City Ground on loan for the rest of the season, but with an obligation to buy should he meet certain criteria.
Wood, who turned 31 years old last December, has seen his minutes dwindle of late following the return to fitness of Alexander Isak. The striker was told that he was unlikely to see his chances increase should he stay.
Wood wanted to fight for his place but was ultimately persuaded by Eddie Howe to leave the club this January, as the own Howe confirmed in his press conference ahead of the game against Crystal Palace to be played on Saturday, Jan. 21.
The former Burnley striker arrived on Tyneside for £25M last January in a move that helped Newcastle stave off relegation. Wood made 35 appearances for Howe’s side scoring four goals in the process.
Supporters will point to that goal tally and not be surprised that he’s been moved on, although the truth is that Wood provided much more than goals.
Wood’s hold-up play was pivotal at the end of last season, bringing the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron into play constantly, making Newcastle look more threatening as a team.
Longer term, Wood will be viewed as a good acquisition—perhaps in the same mold as Daryl Murphy. Shorter term, a lot of supporters seem to be happy about his departure, especially if the club ends up signing a replacement.
Howe has always spoken very highly of the striker, only last month saying:
There is no doubt that Howe will want a replacement for Wood with Isak just coming back to full fitness and given Callum Wilson’s injury record.
Reports have been circulating that the club have made a proposal to Flamengo for attacking midfielder Matheus Franca.
Excl: Newcastle have submitted a new proposal for Brazilian talent Matheus França, offering €16m package to Flamengo ⚪️⚫️ #NUFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 19, 2023
Understand Matheus França is also in Olympique Lyon list — Real Madrid have sent scouts to monitor him in Brazil as well. pic.twitter.com/gc2khSYU67
The club also retain an interest in Everton’s Anthony Gordon and Chelsea trio Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Hakim Ziyech, and Conor Gallagher.
With outgoings now starting to happen at Newcastle, the club will no longer be taking a watching brief in this window.