Newcastle are closing in on the signing of Chris Wood from Burnley after triggering his release clause, and Paul Merson believes he’s exactly ‘what they need’ to stave off relegation.

The 30-year-old hasn’t been prolific this season with only three goals in 21 games, but he’s a 6ft 3in centre-forward who will be a big presence in the penalty area. Merson believes he’ll ‘run through a brick wall’ for Eddie Howe.

He said for Sky Sports: “They have to take a chance and hope someone can hit the ground running. I know he isn’t prolific, but Wood plays every week for Burnley and he plays in the Premier League. He knows what this league is about, and you know he will be alright in this league.

“It’s not going to be a shock to him, and he will run through a brick wall for you. That’s what Newcastle need. They need the likes of Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood. They need players who are going to roll their sleeves up and not come in and be shocked how fast the Premier League is.”

Wood joined Burnley from Leeds United five years ago and has scored 53 goals with nine assists in 165 games. He’s a New Zealand international, boasting 27 goals in 59 caps, and will be a great target man if Newcastle’s distribution is on point from Kieran Trippier, Ryan Fraser, Allan Saint-Maximin and Matt Ritchie.

Wood has used his head for 40% of his shots in the Premier League this season, so he might the ideal player getting on the end of balls into the box. Newcastle paying up to £25m may seem steep, but the 30-year-old striker will be priceless if his goals keep them up.

In other news, fans on social media ‘like the idea’ of Newcastle signing ‘brilliant’ Aaron Ramsey