Wood ‘smiled’ about ‘glitzy’ rumours as Newcastle were ‘pragmatic’

Lewis Oldham
Newcastle signing Wood

Former Burnley forward Chris Wood “smiled” when he saw the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland being linked with Newcastle United.

PSG star Mbappe was mentioned as a possible Newcastle signing after their Saudi-led takeover was completed earlier this season.

The Magpies were always going to be busy in the transfer market in January given that they are fighting to avoid relegation.

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Wood ended up being one of five Newcastle signings during the winter transfer window.

They also brought in Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn, Matt Targett and Kieran Trippier.

Newcastle are in great form of late as they have won three games in a row in the Premier League.

Eddie Howe’s side travel to face West Ham this weekend. Ahead of this game, Wood has acknowledged that he was “brought in to fight”:

“I’d read the rumours about Mbappe and Haaland and all that sort of stuff. It made you smile, I suppose, on the outside looking in,” Wood said (via 90min).

“I’m obviously not in the same bracket as either of those two, I accept that 100 per cent, I am very different, but I was brought in to do a specific job and because I knew the Premier League.

“I was brought in to fight. Newcastle wanted players to make an impact immediately. It has been very pragmatic. They didn’t look to make glitzy signings if you like. We are in a relegation battle. It’s all very well signing players from abroad, but maybe they will need time to settle.”

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe is hopeful Kieran Trippier can play again this season after undergoing surgery on Thursday.

The former Atletico Madrid man has been in fine form since his January move to the north-east and has scored in the previous two fixtures, firing home free-kicks against both Everton and Aston Villa.

However, the right-back suffered a fractured metatarsal against Villa and is now in a fight to be fit before the end of the season.

Howe told the media on Friday: “He had his operation yesterday and that went well so that was good news.

“We don’t know how long he will be out. We hope to have him back before the end of the season. It is a big blow to us because he was performing well.

“We hope to see him before end of season, we will have to see how early rehab goes and its an opportunity for someone to step up. We will miss his leadership skills and his goals, but we are confident enough to cover.”