Following Newcastle United‘s takeover by uber-rich Saudi outfit PIF last year, the expectation had been for the Magpies to flex their muscles in the transfer market and splash the clash on a handful of glamour names.
While wisely the new ownership – as well as current boss Eddie Howe – have taken a more measured approach in recent windows, that’s not to suggest that there still haven’t been the odd expensive mistake or two, with the case of striker Chris Wood arguably the biggest blunder that the Tynesiders have made of late with regards to recruitment.
The New Zealand international was part of a spate of new arrivals back in January as Howe and co looked to steer themselves away from danger, with the steady centre-forward joining on a hefty £25m deal from fellow relegation strugglers Burnley.
As talkSPORT pundit Gabby Agbonlahor alluded to at the time, everything about the move simply seemed “strange”, with the northeast side forking out a hefty fee for a player in his thirties and who had scored just three league goals in the first half of the 2021/22 campaign.
Despite awarding the 68-cap marksman a two-and-a-half-year deal upon his arrival, the move seemingly stunk of a short-term fix, with Newcastle looking to get by until the summer, while also perhaps inadvertently weakening the Turf Moor outfit as a result.
Not that there wasn’t some logic in signing a player who had scored at least ten league goals in each of the previous four top-flight seasons with the Clarets, although the 6 foot 3 dud almost immediately looked at odds with Howe’s more dynamic and progressive style of play.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the one-time Leeds United man went on to score just two goals in 17 league games in the second half of last term, having notably been criticised by pundit Noel Whelan for his “static” performance in the 5-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur back in April.
While potentially not playing to the £80k-per-week man’s strengths – as Whelan also alluded to – such dismal displays seemingly showcased what a poor fit he was in the side, with his involvement having seemingly only come about due to injury to fellow forward Callum Wilson.
The recent arrival of club-record signing Alexander Isak has only further shunted Wood down the pecking order, with the 30-year-old having made just a solitary start in his seven league outings so far this term, with his only goal coming in the League Cup triumph over Tranmere Rovers.
It has seemingly been a huge mistake on the part of Howe – and PIF – to sanction the £25m move for the striker in the first place, with the player currently believed to be valued at just £7m, according to CIES Football Observatory.
As such, Newcastle could well be looking at a significant loss if he is to depart any time soon.