One pundit believes a Newcastle first-team star may have played his last game for the club after failing to impress in the victory over Chelsea on Saturday.
Chris Wood was handed a start ahead of World Cup-bound England forward Callum Wilson against the visiting Blues as Eddie Howe’s men ran out deserved 1-0 winners thanks to Joe Willock’s second-half strike.
However, the New Zealand international failed to really trouble the Chelsea defence on the night. Indeed, he was replaced by Wilson with 14 minutes to go of the victory that saw that Magpies return to third in the table.
The match was only Wood’s second Premier League start this season, while the giant forward has only notched two goals this term – and one of those was in the Carabao Cup against Tranmere.
And after his below-par performance against Graham Potter’s men, former Hibernian forward Tam McManus believes the end could be nigh for the former Leeds and Burnley man.
McManus told Football Insider: “Wood, he’s a decent squad player but you have Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak there.
“They are proper number nines, proper strikers. I think Wood isn’t the player they really want in that team.
“I watch the game against Chelsea and he was trying his best to press, to get at the Chelsea defence but that isn’t his game.”
Exit on the cards for Chris Wood
McManus feels that with Newcastle not really playing to Wood‘s strengths, an exit is likely.
He added: “He feeds on long balls. Newcastle don’t play like that anymore so he is a bit lost. I think maybe he will be moved on in January.
“Isak is nearly fit again so I can’t see him getting any game time when the season starts again. I know he scored against Southampton but there are better players there unfortunately, it’s that simple.”
At this stage, and with Newcastle going so well, a January exit looks unlikely.
Keeping another striker in the squad could be key on the second half of the campaign, especially with Wilson’s England record.
However, the eventual return of Isak is sure to see Wood’s game time slashed even more.
Newcastle will not be back in action now until December 20 when they face Bournemouth on the Carabao Cup.
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