When I wrote only last week that we needed new signings in attack I neglected to look at a number of options. I will be honest and say that Chris Wood at that point was not in the twenty that I thought we might be considering. I was unaware, as I’m sure you were, of a release clause in his contract, he’s not really a Howe type of player as he plays currently at Burnley and though he has hit double figures each of the last four seasons, doesn’t necessarily quicken the pulse. In addition there appeared to be no way that one of our relegation rivals would sell us one of their main attackers, particularly with their other main goal threat away at AFCON.

We have seen Chris Wood enough though to know his strengths. He is strong in the air and a good target for set pieces, particularly on corners where he will add extra height and another target for Kieran Trippier. On Saturday it was only Joelinton in the box as someone to aim at and although he did well with his late header, that is not his game and if it is having five defenders around you doesn’t help. He will not offer the same movement that Wilson did when pressing but he will be able to link up with runners, who we do have a few of, as well as being able to move defenders around and give them something to worry about. It should also mean that ASM actually plays wide which is his position, therefore we might actually be able to revert to the system that worked quite well against Manchester United.

It will be interesting to see how he functions in a team that has a lot of the ball. Both at Burnley and previously at Leeds in the Championship, he played in teams that liked to counter-attack. Movement in attack will be key for us over the next few games and it will be interesting to see how Wood deals with that. He is renowned with Burnley fans for going through ‘cold’ spells where he might not score for seven or eight games in a row. One note of caution there would be that he is not in a rich vein of form as he looks to move clubs, one would hope that playing for the biggest club of his career in his last big move would prove a trigger to rekindle that form. I imagine he wouldn’t mind scoring at Elland Road next week.

He has been on a nomadic tour of English clubs, being at West Brom for four years but really breaking through at Millwall on loan. He scored eleven in nineteen in the first half of the Championship season and was then sold by West Brom to Leicester as they pushed for promotion. Nine in twenty in the second half of that season saw the Foxes fall just short, Wood was also not as popular with Nigel Pearson due to the breakthrough of Jamie Vardy. Leeds took him to the Championship and he has not failed to score ten in a season since that transfer in 2015.

What this deal does do for us is buy a proven Premier League player with a history of carrying a team away from relegation. It also allows us the opportunity to threaten teams in different ways, especially when Wilson is back and we now have another option from the bench. Wood played in the 2010 World Cup when only nineteen, in terms of leadership he is vice-captain for his country behind Winston Reid. The hope would be that this is another voice, a fighter and someone who can be a little bit more cynical and prepared to challenge others to match his standards.

I recall two goals Wood scored against us. One at Turf Moor which for me encapsulated the worst away trip I’ve possibly ever been on, a header from a corner. I also remember him denying us automatic promotion on Good Friday 2017 in a Leeds shirt, ‘Ginger Pirlo’ made one of, if not, his final appearance in a Newcastle shirt that day under Rafa and a pitch invader meant time was added on and obviously we conceded. That Leeds goal sticks out as it was one of maybe two chances he had that night and he never looked like missing it.

If we can play to his strengths he will succeed. Forget about the price tag as that doesn’t mean anything anymore. Joelinton was forty million (allegedly) of Ashley’s money, was played in the incorrect position for two years before we found out he might be alright. Wood needs to be bedded in, the team needs to make sure we give him chances.

My final point is that this rectifies one of the deficiencies that this squad has had for some time but unfortunately comes at the time when the main player for the position is injured. Some people may have had heightened expectations of Erling Haaland answering the call to fire us to safety, but they are mostly Sunderland fans, or Guardian journalists who are desperate for more attention. We don’t expect that calibre of player, nor do we imagine Mbappe sipping Starbucks on Acorn Road, the way they think we do. We need a player to score goals, Chris Wood has a decent record of scoring goals, lets hope that starts on Saturday.

Who knows, this may not be the end of the winter spending!

Stephen Ord      @smord84