Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Micah Richards feels Chris Wood is the ‘perfect’ striker transfer for Newcastle United as he can lead Eddie Howe’s side to promotion if they suffer relegation from the Premier League.

The former England defender has reacted to the Toon’s £25m deal for Wood in his column for the Daily Mail. The Magpies triggered a release clause in the New Zealanders’ contract at Turf Moor to poach the Burnley marksman.

Wood should now make his Newcastle debut in their crucial meeting at home to relegation rivals Watford on Saturday afternoon. United can move above the Hornets and climb out of the drop zone with a win at St James’ Park.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

The Tyneside outfit sit in the bottom-three after 19 games played, one more than Watford, having still only won one game all season so far. Their sole victory coincidently a 1-0 result at home to Wood’s Burnley on December 4.

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Newcastle shut Wood and Burnley out, but targeted a transfer for the Turf Moor hero after Callum Wilson’s calf injury. Their clean sheet against the Clarets also the Magpies’ only shut out of the Premier League season so far.

Richards hails Wood deal as ‘perfect’ striker transfer for Newcastle

Wood failed to score in 14 of his 17 Premier League outings for Burnley before completing a transfer to Newcastle. His three goals for the campaign so far came one-by-one against Leeds United, Brentford and Crystal Palace.

The Eagles clash was the 30-year-old’s most recent strike on November 20. He also scored eight of his 12 goals last season in an eight-game run between March 6 and May 10. Wood failed to score in 24 of his 33 appearances.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Yet Richards believes Newcastle raiding Burnley for Wood was the best striker transfer they could complete in January. Even if the experienced 60-cap international was not Howe nor the Toon fanbase’s first-choice target.

He wrote: “People have questioned why Newcastle have paid so much money for a striker, who became the most expensive player aged 30 or over in Premier League history, and would have been out of contract in 18-months.

“I certainly didn’t. It is a good signing and he is perfect for them in so many ways. Short-term, he will not need to adjust to the demands of the Premier League.

“He would not have been the first striker Newcastle fans wanted to sign under their new owners. But, if the worst happens and they are relegated, he will be the perfect man to lead them out of the Championship.”

In other news, Report: Arsenal star dropped from national team; could miss Burnley match