On social media, Nottingham Forest striker Chris Wood was compared to Lionel Messi, and he proceeded to disparage his previous team.
The thirty-two-year-old excelled at St. James’ Park. As the visitors won 3-1 on Boxing Day, he became just the sixth player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick.
And that was quite the triple! While the first was a tap-in, the second and third goals, especially the second, were outstanding. In fact, head coach Nuno Espirito Santo expressed his anticipation to see Wood repeatedly make it 2-1 after the game.
The New Zealand international has received a good deal of criticism since leaving Newcastle United over a year ago. Given that the Reds paid £15 million for him when a conditional option to buy was activated on his first loan, he hasn’t always been regarded as value for money.
It was always a challenge to figure out how to bring out the best in him. Awoniyi Taiwo is not Wood. Furthermore, Forest did not always appear to be the same team when the Nigerian was out of the lineup.
Nuno has discovered a style of play that works for Wood. After playing well against Bournemouth, the forward man excelled in the north-east, winning man of the match honors.
It won’t be as noticeable when Awoniyi is gone if he continues on that level of performance. Additionally, it may minimize the urgency of requiring a striker in January.
For a while, it seemed like the Reds could not wait for the transfer window to open. With Awoniyi out, they were keen to increase their attacking capabilities as they were having trouble getting results.
Could Forest even get by without adding a new attacker if Wood consistently produces at the caliber he did at Newcastle, especially if Nuno can also get Divock Origi fired? Perhaps not. But even in the best of circumstances, January can be a challenging window, especially when it comes to trying to find players who can score goals. Many clubs are searching for these expansions, and those who are selling can do so for a high price.
When the window opens, the Reds will keep Financial Fair Play in mind. It would be foolish to bring in a plethora of new faces again, as they are also coming off of a second consecutive summer renovation. They won’t have to work too hard; monitoring a few exits will be their primary responsibility. In addition, Awoniyi is recovering well after surgery on his groin and might return sooner than anticipated.
Nuno will be the one to determine what business would be necessary. He’s stated that he prefers to work with a smaller team, but before making any decisions, he wants to carefully evaluate the players that are currently under contract.
One may argue that Forest still needs to add more firepower. But, there isn’t exactly the same need to get troops inside the building if Wood can keep covering for Awoniyi. If the team determines that it is still a weakness, they can at least take their time to make sure that any acquisition they make is the best one.