Jermaine Jenas hands over Chris Wood’s verdict and where Newcastle should look next

Jermaine Jenas believes Chris Wood’s move at Newcastle “looks like a six-month signing”, after he signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at St James’ Park.

Jenas told William Hill that the move was a “win-win” for everyone and would bring some much-needed experience to the Magpies’ dressing room.

The former Newcastle United midfielder has been full of praise for the signing of Kieran Trippier, someone who Jenas knows well from his time at Spurs.

Read more: Live broadcast of Newcastle United transfer news

“I think they’re both good contracts,” Jenas told William Hill. “I know Kieran Trippier relatively well from his time at Spurs and know what he’s about in terms of his mentality and what he will bring into the dressing room.

“He has the experience, the traits and the qualities you’ll need when you’re in a situation like Newcastle in him, so I think he’s a huge signing.

Signing Chris Wood, it feels like signing me for six months.

“I think it’s one of those scenarios when it’s a win for everyone in Newcastle that’s to have a good character, who’s been at a club doing things the right way and their players know what a relegation battle is.

“I don’t see the relationship lasting more than six months because in the long term Chris Wood is not where Newcastle wants to be, but I think he will really enjoy the experience and the fans will really love being there.”

Kieran Trippier (left) and Chris Wood (right) during the Newcastle United training session

Jenas was somewhat critical of the original approach from the new Magpies owners, stating that the initial plan seemed “too urgent” but he recognizes that the survival of the Premier League is the main objective.

He said: “The initial plan is very hasty but they are clearly just thinking about what we can do to survive?

“These two signings are a good start, but I would still like to see a central defender go through the door and maybe a goalkeeper.

“It’s also possible that an attacking midfielder could lighten the weight of some of the others. If I was in charge, these are the three areas I would look for.”

The Magpies have been linked to a whole host of European talent since the Saudi takeover of St James’ Park, but Jenas believes they should be closer to home.

He said: “I would really like to test the design of Dean Henderson and Manchester United. It must be really frustrating that there is no football in a year we have had the World Cup and I would be interested to see if United would be open to anything.

“I was also looking at Jesse Lingard because there are no winners in the current scenario.

“Certainly if he can get a few games under his belt for the rest of the season and show everyone how great he is, he will be. He’s a perfect fit in my opinion for Newcastle at the moment.”

Louis Dunk of Brighton and Hove Albion (left) and Callum Wilson of Newcastle United
Louis Dunk of Brighton and Hove Albion (left) and Callum Wilson of Newcastle United

Jenas added: “Louis Dunk is an interesting person because at that point in his career he could have stayed at Brighton his whole life, but I think he’s in the mold of a player Newcastle should look at.

“They are not going to get stars at the moment because I don’t understand why these kind of people would go to Newcastle at the moment knowing that they could be relegated to the Championship. Short-term signings, with Premier League experience, are the ones that will keep them in the league.”

Newcastle are still battling a relegation battle with one of the worst defensive records in the Premier League, but this week’s win over struggling teammates Watford could lift Howe’s side out of the relegation zone.

Jenas said, “I think they have put themselves in a very good position [to survive].

“If they beat Watford this weekend, they are ahead of them in the table and I think there are more clubs involved in this relegation battle than meets the eye.

“Leeds, I don’t think there’s anywhere close to it, and Brentford has gotten a bit, so I think Newcastle, with these new signings, if they can pick up some points they can pull a lot of teams into it.

“I definitely think if they could contract one or two, they would get out of it.”

Relegation to the championship would be a huge hurdle for the owners, but Jenas doesn’t think it will be the end of the world.

“It brings some calm to the situation,” Jenas said. “Owners learn on the job and are very new to this whole process so while relegation would be a disaster for the fans and the club, from the owner’s point of view I hope it gives them a chance to take stock and decide what they want Newcastle to become.

“They will be able to learn a lot about the football club in one year in the tournament as they will start to know what the club needs and the best way forward, so I don’t think it will be a disaster if they go down.”


Leave a Comment