Chris Wood has signed for Newcastle United in a reported £25million move from fellow relegation candidates Burnley.
With Callum Wilson expected to miss around eight weeks due to a calf tear sustained in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United in December, Newcastle have moved to bring in a Premier League-proven goalscorer as they aim to bolster their chances of survival.
Newcastle and Burnley both sit in the bottom three on 11 points apiece – two from safety.
Wood, who joined the Clarets from Leeds United in 2017, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Newcastle, having travelled to the north-east on Tuesday for a medical.
The 30-year-old has become the Magpies’ second first-team signing under Eddie Howe – and the club’s new Saudi Arabia-backed ownership – after England full-back Kieran Trippier, who joined for a reported £12m last week.
Trippier made his debut in the shock 1-0 FA Cup third-round defeat at home to Cambridge United on Saturday.
With three league goals to his name this season, Wood is Burnley’s second-highest scorer after Maxwel Cornet, who was signed from Lyon in August.
Wood has scored at least 10 league goals in each of the four previous seasons, with his tally of 14 in 2019-20 a personal best in the competition. However, he has not found the net since November 20.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I’m delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” Wood told his new 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 team-mates 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.”
In total, the New Zealand international played 144 Premier League matches for Burnley, helping the Clarets to 44 wins, with Sean Dyche’s team suffering 63 defeats and drawing 37 times.
With Wood in the team, Burnley scored 149 times, compared to netting just 21 times across 23 fixtures in which the striker did not feature.
Burnley’s win percentage without Wood in their side dropped to 26.1 per cent from 30.6 per cent with him playing, while their average goals for per game dropped by just 0.1, from one to 0.9.
His 49 strikes came from an expected goals (xG) value of 49.5, suggesting Wood’s finishing was on par with the quality of chances created for him by his team-mates.
Newcastle boss Howe said: “Chris is an important signing for us at a crucial time and I’m very pleased we have been able to move quickly and bring him here.
“He is a very dangerous attacking threat, has a physicality and character that I really like, and he has vast experience in the Premier League. He will be a great fit for us.”