Former Nottingham Forest sporting director Filippo Giraldi has defended the decision to sign striker Chris Wood in January.
Forest wanted to land another frontman in the January window to aid their hopes of staying up.
Emmanuel Dennis hadn’t really worked out as hoped, Taiwo Awoniyi was still adjusting to Premier League life and Sam Surridge hadn’t looked like a Premier League goal threat.
Landing some Premier League experience was vital and Forest pounced to land Newcastle United striker Wood.
Signed from Burnley in January 2022, Wood was third-choice striker at Newcastle and was struggling for minutes – as well as goals.
Wood managed only five goals in 39 games for the Magpies, having previously racked up 53 goals in 165 Burnley games.
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Forest were hoping to see Wood recapture that Burnley form and he did open his account with a late leveller against Manchester City in February.
However, Wood picked up a thigh injury in March, ruling him out for the final two months of the season.
That paved the way for Awoniyi to hit a rich vein of form, and some have questioned the wisdom behind the Wood move.
Filippo Giraldi defends Chris Wood move
Forest took Wood on loan but a £15million permanent move was sorted out in February – before his injury.
The New Zealand international is already 31 and some fear that Forest have now forked out decent cash for a striker who may struggle for form and fitness moving forward.
Filippo Giraldi was Forest’s sporting director at the time of that deal and he has now defended the transfer.
Speaking to The Athletic, Giraldi has accepted that there is criticism over signing Wood but feels that he was the best player for the situation.
Giraldi noted that Forest couldn’t go and sign a world class striker to keep them up, especially because of Financial Fair Play restrictions.
The Italian – who was axed by Forest in April – added that Wood’s history of being in relegation battles made him appealing to Forest.
The challenge now is for Wood to get fit again and prove why Forest signed him, hopefully putting his Newcastle spell behind him.
“I know there’s been criticism about that but, for the cost, it was for us the best choice possible at that moment because we have a financial fair play limit. We cannot go and buy a striker for £40-50million,” said Giraldi.
“Taiwo Awoniyi’s injury meant we had to react. I know people wanted the best in the world, but in a relegation battle you have to go for what is available and what was very important for us was players used to these types of games,” he added.