Eddie Howe warns that Newcastle will be ‘dangerously short’ if they fail to replace Chris Wood ahead of Nottingham Forest exit, with Magpies targeting move for a younger striker before transfer window closes
- Chris Wood is joining Nottingham Forest on loan ahead of a permanent move
- Newcastle boss Eddie Howe insists Wood needs to be replaced in January
- Wood’s departure could lead to a younger forward joining the club this month
- Howe hopes to add further support to strikers Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak
Eddie Howe has warned Newcastle’s hierarchy that his squad will be left ‘dangerously short’ if they fail to replace Chris Wood, who is joining Nottingham Forest on loan ahead of a £15million permanent deal.
The Magpies boss admits he had no intention of letting the 31-year-old go this month, before Forest presented a package that was too good to turn down.
Newcastle paid £25m for Wood last January, activating a release clause at Burnley, and the striker helped transform their season as the team climbed clear of the relegation zone. He remained an important squad member and had appeared in all but one match this season.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has warned the club needs to replace the departing Chris Wood
Wood is expected to join Nottingham Forest on loan with a view to a permanent £15m move
Howe has both Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak fit and available for the first time, but insists he wants to sign another forward before the end of the month.
‘Hopefully, we’re planning to replace him,’ said Howe. ‘Certainly, from my side, there was no thought of letting a player go and not replacing. I think that would leave us dangerously short of players. The last thing I want to do is leave ourselves light of players, because we are still in the Carabao Cup and have half a season to go.
‘But there is no guarantee with the short time we have left, and the very small pool of players available, that we will be able to make any signing. That is the difficult situation we now face.’
Howe praised Wood’s role in helping to transform Newcastle from a struggling side last season
Wood had been an important squad player and appeared in all but one match this season
Newcastle will now target a younger forward to support Wilson and Isak, bringing forward some of their intended summer business.
But Howe said: ‘Signing someone for the short-term, between now and the end of the season, does not make sense. It doesn’t make financial sense or football sense. We have to have an eye on the here and now, but also what will happen to the club in a year’s time, two years’ time.
‘We will try to make the right signing, if we’re able to do one. Ideally, you want players who can play straight away. To bring in a player we can’t use straight away, that would not make sense.’
Howe hopes to add a younger forward to support Callum Wilson, pictured and Alexander Isak
Sweden international Isak scored on his return from injury against Fulham last weekend
Of Wood, whose move is almost certain to be made permanent once certain criteria are met, Howe added: ‘He’s been a huge player for us, outstanding in every way. When we signed him, we were in a very difficult league position. He played a huge part on the pitch to help transform the team.
‘He’s been excellent, both on and off the pitch, in terms of his leadership and positivity even when he’s not played. You can’t underestimate the role he’s played. It was a difficult decision, because you have to take into account the player and his wishes. The player wanted to go and he gets the security of an extra year on his contract. But also, I think it’s a very good deal financially for the football club.’
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