Micah Richards believes “Newcastle have ripped the heart out of Burnley” by signing Chris Wood from the Clarets.
The New Zealand striker joined the north east club after they activated a £25million release clause in his contract – to the impotent fury of Burnley.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I’m delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” Wood told the club’s official website.
“I have played at St. James’ Park a few times and it’s an amazing place, so to have the chance to represent this club with those incredible supporters behind me and my teammates is very special.
“The club and manager have been first class during this process, and I really can’t wait to get onto the pitch and repay the faith they have in me, especially with a vital part of the season ahead of us.”
Newcastle have not only strengthened their squad but significantly weakened a relegation rival, giving them a much better chance of finishing outside of the bottom three come the end of the season.
It is a transfer that former Manchester City defender Richards believes has lost Burnley a “vital” player.
“Newcastle have ripped the heart out of Burnley by signing Chris Wood for £25m,” Richards wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“The Magpies have used their finances to boost their attack and weaken a rival. Wood’s goals have been vital in keeping Burnley in the top-flight in recent years.
“On the surface, it seems like it is just a transfer: Newcastle needed a striker, Chris Wood had a £25million release clause and Burnley had an obligation to sell.
“The reality of this deal, though, is deeper and far more wide-reaching. This is so much more than a transfer. This is something that could dramatically alter the futures of two clubs. In Burnley’s case, it could even have an impact on the people they employ and the town where they are based.
“People have questioned why Newcastle have paid so much money for a striker, who became the most expensive player aged 30 or over in Premier League history, and would have been out of contract in 18 months. I certainly didn’t — it is a good signing and he is perfect for them in so many ways.
“Short-term he will not need to adjust to the demands of the Premier League. He would not have been the first striker Newcastle fans wanted to sign under their new owners but, if the worst happens and they are relegated, he will be the perfect man to lead them out of the Championship.
“So Newcastle have improved their squad with quality but, just as importantly, they have significantly weakened one of their rivals. I have no doubt that Dyche will be raging about what has happened.”