Pundit Paul Merson: ‘Newcastle have made mistake in letting Chris Wood leave’

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Former England international Paul Merson believes Newcastle United have blundered in allowing All Whites forward Chris Wood to join Nottingham Forest.

Now a pundit with the UK Sky Sports channel, Merson says he can’t see the logic behind Newcastle’s decision, as it’s left them with only two senior strikers, England international Callum Wilson and Sweden’s Alexander Isak.

“Flabbergasted. Honestly, flabbergasted,” he said on Sky Sports.

“I like Wilson and Isak. But one’s been out a long time injured (and) the other one, you don’t seem to get a run of games – Wilson – where he’s fit consistently.”

Merson, who played more than 300 games for Arsenal in England’s top division, said he thought that allowing Wood to go on loan, with a pre-agreed deal for the move to become permanent, could rebound on Newcastle.

It’s been widely reported that Wood can trigger a transfer payment of £15 million at the end of the English Premier League season.

“Wood comes in and does the job,” Merson said.

“He comes across as a good pro. Not just that, he’s at the other end, as well, when he’s defending.

“When they’re keeping clean sheets, it’s not luck – they defend corners very well. He comes back, he clears stuff.

“For what they’re selling him for, I cannot believe it.

“It wouldn’t surprise me in three weeks’ time if the two centre-forwards were injured and they haven’t got a forward to put on up front.

“If you’re Newcastle, you do the business first and then you get rid of Wood.”

Main photo: Paul Merson. Photo from Paul Merson — My Battle With Addictions.

Wood makes debut for Nottingham Forest

Within 24 hours of joining Forest on loan, Wood was in the starting line-up for his new club against Bournemouth.

Wood was substituted in the second half with Forest trailing 0-1. His replacement, Sam Surridge, scored to earn Forest a 1-1 draw.

READ MORE: Our archive of stories about Chris Wood >>>>

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