One of PIF’s first Newcastle United signings reveals hope of sealing ‘permanent’ summer transfer

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The striker had mixed emotions about his departure from St James Park.

Newcastle United striker Chris Wood has admitted he found it ‘very tough’ to put aside a chance to land major silverware and complete a loan move to Premier League rivals Nottingham Forest last month.

The New Zealand international was one of the Magpies first signings under the ownership of the PIF-led consortium that took control of the club in October 2021. With injury concerns surrounding Callum Wilson, United’s hierarchy activated a £25m release clause in Wood’s contract at Burnley and the striker went on to help Eddie Howe’s side secure their Premier League status during his first months on Tyneside.

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Although the former Leeds United striker only scored twice in 17 appearances, he gave Howe an outlet at the top end of the pitch and helped ensure the foundations were put in place for what has already been a memorable season this time around.

Chris Wood joined Nottingham Forest from Newcastle United - but the Magpies have been left 'dangerously short' up-front (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)Chris Wood joined Nottingham Forest from Newcastle United - but the Magpies have been left 'dangerously short' up-front (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Chris Wood joined Nottingham Forest from Newcastle United - but the Magpies have been left 'dangerously short' up-front (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Wilson’s return to fitness and the club record signing of Alexander Isak has left Wood to make just six starts in all competitions - but he did make a sizable impact to put United on the road to Wembley after heading the winning goal in their Carabao Cup second round win at Tranmere Rovers.

The striker also featured in wins against Crystal Palace and Bournemouth but had left the club by the time the Magpies secured a first cup final appearance since 1999 with a semi-final win over Southampton - and admitted missing out on a place at Wembley had meant leaving a ‘special’ dressing room behind was difficult.

“It’s good, it’s different, it’s a change,” he told Sky Sports when asked about his move to Forest..

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“Coming to a new club, a new city, it’s always takes some time getting used to it and moving around, getting settled. It’s nice, a good bunch of lads, good coaching staff and to get a first taste of the City Ground and the fanbase as great at the weekend.

“It was very tough (to leave Newcastle), it was a tough decision because of where the project is heading. The friendships I had grown with the players there, that dressing room is special, it’s progressing and becoming one of the best dressing rooms I’ve been part of.

“So it was extremely tough to leave, especially where they are in the final of the Carabao Cup and the chance to be involved in that would have been huge. But I needed to look at myself and my game, and where I wanted to see myself in order to play football as long as possible.”

Wood has already made two appearances for Forest after making his debut in a hard-earned 1-1 draw at Bournemouth before helping his new side to a 1-0 win against former club Leeds United on his home debut last Sunday. Despite being in the early weeks of his time at the City Ground, the 31-year-old is already planning for a long-term future with Steve Cooper’s side.

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He said: “I wanted to play at the highest level as long as possible and coming here (to Forest) gave me a chance to do that. It was one of the biggest turning points. I am thinking long-term, I’ve seen the project they want to do. First I have to win over the fans, and get them to fall in love, which would be nice.

“There’s some great players here and yes, I’m looking long-term and hoping this loan move will turn into a permanent and with any luck it should do. It ill be interesting to see where it goes.”

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