By Noel Whelan

11th Jan, 2022 | 4:00pm

Pundit issues 'massive' Newcastle claim as Wood update reported

Noel Whelan has insisted Chris Wood could “fire Newcastle to safety” if he receives adequate service.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 30-year-old could plug the gap left by stricken striker Callum Wilson.

According to the Telegraph (9 January), Newcastle have approached fellow strugglers Burnley about a potential swoop for New Zealand international Wood.

The report claims the Magpies have “not been discouraged” in their pursuit of the striker, despite the two clubs being locked in a relegation battle.

Whelan hinted that Wood could struggle to hit the ground running at St James’ Park.

He claimed Newcastle are “massively lacking in confidence” at present.

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“They need another striker – especially after seeing that Cambridge game, it’s massive, and Wood could be the man,” Whelan told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“They’re missing Callum Wilson. Newcastle have got creators, but he’s the one to provide that magic inside the box and score the goals.

“Wood could fire them to safety – if he gets the service. He’s scored goals everywhere he’s gone when he’s had the opportunities. I saw that at Leeds United and now he’s done really well with Burnley.

“There’s no doubt he will get goals, but it’s much easier to score in a confident side. Newcastle are massively lacking in confidence right now.”

Wilson scored six goals in 15 Premier League games this term before suffering an injury against Man United last month.

Quoted by Sky Sports after Newcastle were embarrassed against Cambridge in the FA Cup on Saturday, Howe confirmed the England international could be sidelined for “eight weeks”.

The Magpies sit 19th in the Premier League.

In other news, Newcastle have been tipped to sign Premier League winner for ‘nothing’ this month after update.