Chris Wood on his Newcastle United move: "Once I knew there was interest it was a no-brainer"
New Zealand international Chris Wood says his move to Burnley's relegation rivals Newcastle United was a 'no-brainer'.
The 30-year-old Kiwi, with just three goals in 21 appearances for the Clarets this season, had been prolific in the four seasons beforehand.
The striker scored 49 Premier League goals for the club in 144 appearances, after a club record £15m move from Leeds United in the summer of 2017.
The Auckland-born finisher had hit double figures in each of his last four top-flight terms, something only Harry Kane and Son of Tottenham, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane of Liverpool, Jamie Vardy of Leicester, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette of Arsenal, and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling could match.
However, Wood felt that he'd moved into his comfort zone at Turf Moor, and his form dipped as a consequence. Now he's gunning for greatness with the Magpies at St James's Park.
"It's great, it's been a very short turnaround, but I'm excited," he said. "It's a club steeped in stature and history and it's a prospect that could be absolutely amazing going forward.
"I was on my way home from Burnley and I had a call to say that it still could be happening. It picked up speed very quickly and it was something I didn't think I could turn down.
"I've been in the Premier League for a number of years now, I think I've established myself as a Premier League striker and I know how to score goals.
"I've been at Burnley for four years and I was in my comfort zone, I knew what it was about, and you never do anything great in your comfort zone.
"To be extraordinary and take my game to the next level and challenge myself at a massive club like Newcastle, it was the right option. I thought this could be a great opportunity for me.
"Once I knew there was interest it was a no-brainer."
Wood sealed his move on Thursday morning after United triggered a release clause in his contract, thought to be in the region of £25m.
He'll be reunited with Republic of Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick, who made the switch to Tyneside in August 2020, as well as Kieran Trippier, who he played alongside during a loan spell at Barnsley in 2010.
He continued: "I got on really well with Jeff [Hendrick] when I was at Burnley, we were like two peas in a pod, so I spoke to him and he told me what to expect at Newcastle, how it goes, he gave a glowing report, he's loved his time up here so far. He wants more and he's hungry to get more time on the pitch and deliver more. He's just waiting for that opportunity.
"I've known Tripps since my Barnsley days, around 12 years ago, so it was a much younger Tripps with less experience, and now the stature that he brings to football and this club, it's huge. To have a player like him in the side I'm sure everybody's foaming at the mouth to see what he can do.
"That [his delivery] is what he's known for and he's shown it on the biggest stages around the world, both in La Liga and for England during the Euros and World Cups. I can't wait to get started and learn the role that we have together."