Newcastle signing Chris Wood offers explanation for ditching relegation rivals Burnley

Premier League transfer rumours: Newcastle set sights on Chris Wood

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Chris Wood has spoken for the first time since leaving Burnley for relegation rivals Newcastle United. Wood completed a £25million move on Thursday morning after Newcastle unexpectedly triggered his release clause earlier in the week.

Wood has explained the pull of playing at St. James’ Park more regularly and expressed his intention to help Newcastle in a ‘vital part of the season’.

He told the club website: “This is a very exciting opportunity for me, and I’m delighted to be a Newcastle United player.

“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.”

JUST IN: Howe lists three reasons for Wood transfer as he completes move

But of course, as Wood helps Newcastle, it will damage Burnley’s hopes of staying in the Premier League.

Sean Dyche’s side are level with the Magpies on 11 points with two games in hand, and they both join Norwich in the relegation zone.

Newcastle’s new owners will be desperate for Eddie Howe to steer the club away from the bottom three in the coming weeks and months.

And they’ve wasted no time in backing him to do so, with Wood joining Kieran Trippier, arriving for £12m from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, as January arrivals.

With both Trippier and Wood in their thirties, it’s clear Howe has targeted experience and Premier League quality this month, which should prove crucial in Newcastle’s bid to stay up.

The manager is delighted with securing Wood’s services and has pinpointed the 30-year-old’s strengths.

“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,” Howe explained.

“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.”

Wood has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract on Tyneside and will wear the number 20 shirt, following in the footsteps of Florian Lejeune, Yoan Gouffran and Florian Thauvin.

With Callum Wilson expected to miss at least eight months of action, Newcastle were desperate to land a new striker before the weekend.

And the New Zealand international will be available to lead the line against Watford at St. James’ on Saturday.

Burnley are said to be ‘angry’ that Wood has left for a relegation rival, and it’ll be interesting to see if he has an impact when the Clarets meet Newcastle on the final day of the season.

The headlines write themselves…

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