7 December 1991
In the January of 2022, Newcastle United, under their new Saudi led ownership, essentially hijacked the purchase of Chris Wood from relegation rivals Burnley.
Struggling to find a striker who would join the Magpies, routed second bottom of the table, those in charge had looked at a number of options home and abroad. But as the transfer window ticked into the second week, and with a huge relegation battle against 4th bottom Watford just days away (and NUFCs only striker Callum Wilson out injured for 2 months), Newcastle activated a Chris Wood's little known release clause.
Having managed just 3 goals in 17 games so far that season (at Burnley) £20m did seem a lot of money for someone at 31 years old. But the move proved to be a masterstroke.
With Calum Wilson seemingly continually injured for the remainder of the 2021/22 season Wood would grab only two more goals in another 17 games (this time for the Magpies), but his presence up front would cause defences all manner of issues and allow Newcastle's wider men and midfield the time and space to charge United up the table to safety.
Burnley, however, would go on to be relegated without him.
Another 18 league appearances in the first half of the 22/23 season plus a critical goal away to Tranmere in Newcastle's run to a first League Cup final since 1976 (and a crucial penalty conversion in the home shoot out to Palace) would seem to mean his squad place was secured under Howe.
But a crazy bid, rumoured to be £15m from Forest (£5m initial loan + £10m if a handful of league appearances were met) meant Newcastle jumped at the chance to claw almost all of their money back in January 2023.
Wood, whilst not prolific to say the least, will be fondly remembered on Tyneside.