Newcastle 'need' more than 156-goal striker at St James' Park

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe during Liverpool defeat

Newcastle United need to sign a “top-class striker” to compete with the likes of Chris Wood and Callum Wilson, says Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie.

Wood joined from Burnley in a £25m deal back in January, and Downie feels that the 30-year-old’s workload is too much right now.

Has Wood made an impact at Newcastle?

Yes, he has. Wood has by no means been prolific, scoring just two goals for his new side so far. However, his header against Southampton and penalty versus Wolves, which proved to be the match-winner, have helped Newcastle to stay out of the relegation zone.

Manager Eddie Howe has also been pleased with his overall contribution to the team since his arrival from Turf Moor.

“His all-round game has been very good. I actually thought today his link-up play was very good when we did get the ball into him,” Howe said last month (via NewcastleWorld) after the victory against Wolves.

Ultimately, thanks to their January transfer business, which includes the signing of Wood, Newcastle have been able to fight off relegation this season.

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What has Downie said about Wood and Newcastle?

Next season, though, Downie feels the Magpies will need more than Wood and Wilson, especially with the former having played so many games following his arrival at St James’ Park.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the Sky Sports reporter said: “They do need a top-class striker in there to compete with these guys. I mean, they’ve essentially just been playing Chris Wood 90 minutes most games since he arrived in January. He’s hardly had a break at all.”

Will Wood be Newcastle’s first-choice striker next season?

It seems unlikely. While the New Zealand international, who has scored 156 goals in his senior career, has certainly played his part in helping Newcastle to stay in the Premier League, he has always looked like a short-term solution.

With Wilson picking up a serious calf injury at the end of December, Howe desperately needed to bring in a new No.9 during the January window.

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Going forward, the Newcastle boss now looks set to build his attack around someone like Brentford’s Ivan Toney or Reims’ Hugo Ekitike.

According to The Telegraph, the Tyneside club have an interest in both players, previously trying to sign the latter when the market was last open.

As a squad option, though, Wood could still have a future at St James’ Park, especially with Wilson’s injury record.

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