The January transfer window is a few months away and one player in the Newcastle United squad may already be facing an uncertain future at St. James’ Park…
Journalist Pete O’Rourke has claimed that Chris Wood has fallen down the ranks on Tyneside since his move from Burnley at the start of the year.
The reporter has suggested that the forward will struggle to get back into the team ahead of the other strikers at Eddie Howe’s disposal.
When asked about the striker’s situation, O’Rourke told GIVEMSPORT: “It’s going to be difficult for Chris Wood, you would say, to get into that starting line-up right now with Callum Wilson and Isak both ahead of him.
“He will just be waiting for that opportunity, hoping that he might get a run in the side and hopefully get some goals for Newcastle as well. But I think he’s definitely down the pecking order right now in Eddie Howe’s plans.”
Howe must now ruthlessly ditch the New Zealand international in the January window as he has struggled badly since joining the club earlier this year.
Newcastle signed him from Burnley for a reported fee of £25m and he has failed to live up to that price tag as he has been unable to find the back of the net on a regular basis.
In the second half of last season, Wood was a regular in the team whilst Callum Wilson was out injured but he scored just twice in 17 Premier League matches. He averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.72 and did not register a single assist as he created 0.6 chances per game for his teammates.
Meanwhile, Wilson found the back of the net eight times in 18 appearances in the top flight as he proved that he is a consistent goalscorer when he is able to get out on the pitch.
This term, the Englishman has scored on three occasions and provided one assist – creating 1.1 chances per game – in five outings in the Premier League, whilst the former Burnley man has not scored or assisted a goal in eight appearances and provided only 0.1 opportunities per match.
Alexander Isak has also caught the eye since arriving from Real Sociedad with two strikes in his first three outings. This means that he has already drawn level with Wood’s tally for the club, despite the ex-Claret hitman playing 25 league games.
The £80k-per-week earner must be ruthlessly tossed aside by Howe in January as he has proven that he is not a reliable performer at the top end of the pitch.
He does not offer enough in front of goal, in terms of scoring goals or creating chances for others, to warrant regular minutes on the pitch and the Newcastle boss must cash in on him and attempt to bring in a replacement or bring through an academy starlet to take his place.