Eddie Howe's revealing clue to Newcastle United transfer thinking after Chris Wood exit
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Howe, speaking ahead of tomorrow's game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, said a failure to sign a replacement would leave the club “dangerously short” of players.
United’s head coach also offered an insight into the type of player he would like to see arrive at the club, which is fourth in the Premier League and in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Howe isn’t looking for a like-for-like replacement for 31-year-old Wood, who was signed when the club was in the relegation zone.
"I don't think we'll necessarily replace Chris with another Chris, if that makes sense,” said Howe. “His type of player, I don't necessarily think, is in the market.
"His unique skills that he has, I think we needed that this time last year.
"He was a focal point for us, he enabled us to play a way that I thought took the pressure off the players at that time. He brought other players into play – and made them look better.
"We're not necessarily looking at that type of player in the market. We'll see what we can do with 11 days to go. It's not long, but it's got to be the right player. That's always so important in any transfer deal we have to do.
"We would have targets that we would pursue, for sure. I think it's important not just to have one. We do have a pool of players that we like. Let's see how we go."
Howe was asked if the club’s thinking on Wood’s replacement was an indication of how the team has evolved over the past 12 months.
"That's not to say a target man-type of centre-forward is not attractive to me, because they are,” said Howe, who recruited Alexander Isak for a club-record fee of £60million last summer.
“I've usually had within my disposal a target man. Chris was certainly that, and he was excellent at it.
"Alex is a presence, he's 6ft3, Callum (Wilson) is a presence, he's 6ft1. So those two players can still be a physical presence – and bring that physicality that Chris brought.
“But the team has certainly evolved in that time. We’ve changed several of our patterns, and our way of working, and that's why we're looking for a different type now.”
Howe – who has kept goalkeeper Loris Karius for the rest of the campaign – wants a “strong squad” for the second half of the season.
“The last thing we wanted to do, or I wanted to do, is leave ourselves light of players,” said Howe.
“In our current position, still in the Carabao Cup, and still got half the season to go, it’s an important time, so we need a strong squad for what’s to come.”