A former Leeds United star has been urging Everton to sign Newcastle striker Chris Wood when the January transfer window opens.
Everton are inevitably being strongly linked with a series of forwards as the New Year window approaches and it’s clear to every Blues’ supporter that this the one area of the team manager Frank Lampard must strengthen as an absolute priority.
The most important single thing to improve is to bring in more goals given that the Toffees’ have only netted a paultry eleven so far during this campaign.
Now, a former Leeds player Noel Whelan has been quoted claiming the Blues’ should prioritise the signing of Wood from Newcastle as they search for striking reinforcements.
Wood only joined the Magpies’ last January. But, according to Whelan they might well be willing to listen to offers for the 31-year-old centre-forward as they set the club sights on bigger name players to help with their pusuit of Champions League football.
The New Zealand international has been a Premier League player for a number of seasons now, first with Burnley and now Newcastle.
He’s never been a prolific goal-scorer but he did average twelve a season between the 2018-19 and 2020-21 campaigns while at Turf Moor. which is not a bad return.
He is a tall, strong natural centre-forward who is also very good in the air making him similar in those respects to the ever injury-prone Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
And, given that Everton’s team has been built in attack to service the strengths of Calvert-Lewin who cannot seem to stay fit, a player like Wood does represent a logical alternative on paper, if only for the short-term.
The Toffees’ have recruited a lot of wide players and full-backs recently who like to cross the ball and so a striker who thrives on that sort of service is probably the ideal type.
I don’t know if Wood is a good option and at his age I certainly wouldn’t want the Blues’ to spend what Newcastle did on him when there are other younger alternatives around.
In addition, there are other players Newcastle are ready to sell in January who might well be of interest to Everton.
According to Football Insider, the North East club are open to offers in January for a number of former first-team starters.
One of those is forward Ryan Fraser. The Scottish international has fallen down the pecking order at St James’s Park recently as Newcastle’s attacking options have grown.
And, with the new money he has at his disposal giving him the chance to bring in much higher profile names, it seems as though Eddie Howe is now prepared to sanction his departure.
Fraser is someone Howe knows of course from his Bournemouth days and in the past he’s been an effective attacking player in the Premier League.
The 28-year-old has been linked with a move to Merseyside in the past and could it make sense for the Blues’ to consider a move for him in January?
Fraser is a player who might well provide what Everton are missing. He is particuarly adept at crossing the ball and likes to put quality balls in from wide areas.
That is something the Toffees’ need, if they are to take advatage of their primary goal-scoring weapon Calvert-Lewin, when he’s healthy.
He’s an experienced Premier League player who also knows the Toffees’ young right-back and fellow Scotland international Nathan Patterson, so could help him develop and improve further.
Furthermore, if he is on the transfer list, a deal could be done which wouldn’t break the bank as I’m sure Fraser would want to move to another Premier League club that could give him regular playing time.
It’s all if’s, but’s, and maybe’s of course, and I have no idea whether Fraser would genuinely improve Everton or fit the profile of attacking player Lampard is considering signing.