‘Licking his lips’ - Burnley expert shares details of Chris Wood’s shock move to Newcastle United

Chris Boden, sports editor at the Burnley Express, provides an unrivalled insight into Chris Wood’s proposed move to Newcastle United.

It’s fair to say Chris Wood’s impending move to Newcastle United has taken many by surprise in Lancashire.

On initial viewing, it is hard to understand why Burnley are in the process of losing their star striker to a direct Premier League relegation rival.

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But that is indeed the case with the New Zealand international currently on Tyneside to finalise his move ahead of facing Watford on Saturday afternoon.

So, why is Wood joining the Magpies? And what type of player is Eddie Howe getting?

We caught up with Burnley Express sports editor Chris Boden, who provided an excellent insight into the 30-year-old:

Why are Burnley letting Chris Wood join a relegation rival?

CB: “Good question! We were briefed on Sunday when the initial links emerged that there was no chance of the club selling, then there was speculation regarding a release clause. There remains some confusion at this end, as to whether that clause only kicked in in the summer, but quite simply, there must be a clause, because I fail to see why Burnley would sell in any other circumstances. He has only three goals this season, but has 50 in 154 Premier League appearances, and is Sean Dyche’s main man. And you wouldn’t allow a relegation rival to bolster their squad at your expense willingly. The fee is decent for a player of his age, but he has to be replaced, and quickly.”

How do Burnley fans feel about Chris Wood’s exit? Any indication of how Sean Dyche feels?

CB: “Burnley fans have long been split on the merits of Wood, many appreciate his goal return, but he is often derided for how often he is offside, and doesn’t always punch his weight - if he had the aggression of an Ashley Barnes, with his attributes, he would be nigh unplayable! I think Burnley fans will accept it, if money is reinvested in a striker, and a good one. The manager tested positive for Covid last Tuesday and wasn’t at Saturday’s FA Cup tie. He’s scheduled to do press on Thursday lunchtime, so we’ll find out then. But I suspect he’s not amused...”

What type of player are Newcastle gaining? How would you describe his style of play?

CB: “Wood is a player who has played on the shoulder of the last defender at Burnley, stretching the game. He’s not lightning quick, but is mobile, and is excellent in the air - although not your archetypal target man. He scores all sorts of goals, tap ins, headers, volleys, lobs, and has hit double figures for each of the four Premier League seasons he has been here, before this, which only Harry Kane and Son of Spurs, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane of Liverpool, Jamie Vardy of Leicester, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette of Arsenal, and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling have achieved in that time.”

Having witnessed his entire Burnley career, do you believe it is a good signing for Newcastle?

CB: “I’ve no doubt he will score goals, especially with the supply line from another Burnley old boy Kieran Trippier. He’ll be licking his lips at that sort of service.”

Are Burnley confident they’ll sign a replacement for Chris Wood?

CB: “Sean Dyche has spoken before the sale about his expectation that this will be a typically difficult window to get any business done, but they quite simply have to. Ashley Barnes hasn’t played since the end of October with a thigh injury and is still ‘weeks away’, Matej Vydra has a groin/hernia problem that requires surgery, and he tested positive for Covid last week, and Jay Rodriguez is without a league goal since February. Add top scorer Maxwel Cornet being away at the Africa Cup of Nations, and they are crying out for options up front.”