Newcastle striker Chris Wood has described the club’s January recruitment as ‘very pragmatic’, admitting that links with players like Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland made him ‘smile.’
In January, Wood became Newcastle’s second buy since the Saudi Arabian-backed takeover was completed in October when a £12m release clause in Burnley contract was triggered.
The club’s long-term ambition is to compete at the elite level and challenge for major trophies in the Premier League and Champions League. That will ultimately mean going after world class players, which Wood is happy to admit that he is not.
“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,” the New Zealand international told the Daily Telegraph.
“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.”
Wood is yet to score in Newcastle colours but has been part of a team in recent weeks that has suddenly started winning to climb out of the relegation zone.
The Magpies have won the last three in a row against Leeds, Everton and Aston Villa and are now closer to Everton in 16th place than they are to Norwich in 18th place.