Although Newcastle would not have put Chris Wood as top of their January shopping list, they will certainly be celebrating his arrival and with the New Zealand international joining from Burnley, the battle against relegation has taken a rather interesting twist.
One that sees the Clarets begrudgingly say goodbye to their talismanic forward and with Newcastle paying the necessary fee to activate his release clause, Burnley may well have strengthened a direct relegation rival.
While it is a departure that will only make Sean Dyche’s current plight even more difficult and with goals being rather hard to come by at Turf Moor, the loss of the 30-year-old Wood is one that will be sorely felt.
Especially as Burnley already find themselves within the Premier League relegation zone and after suffering an F.A. Cup exit at the hands of Huddersfield last weekend, they must now prepare for the visit of Leicester on Saturday.
While at a fee of £25m, this switch to Newcastle is not one that comes cheap and although some will baulk at the amount of money involved, an influx of goals could be the difference between survival and demotion.
With Callum Wilson expected to be out for eight weeks, Newcastle’s new arrival will be tasked with scoring with immediate effect and if he can rise to the challenge, this transfer fee will almost pay for itself.
Which means Wood will have little time to bed in at St James’ Park and with Kieran Trippier known for his crossing ability, Newcastle’s other recent acquisition will be on hand to supply the aerial ammunition.
Ammunition that Newcastle fans will hope comes as soon as this weekend and with the Magpies looking to bounce back from an F.A. Cup embarrassment of their own, Eddie Howe and his men will have to prepare for the visit of Watford this weekend.
It might not be quite a six-pointer, but the stakes will certainly be high for the Magpies and if they can earn only their second league win of the season, it will give their survival odds a mighty boost.
Staying on the topic of odds, the focus can only be on one man in particular and if you think Chris Wood will open the scoring against the Hornets, you can back this outcome at 9/2 with bet365.