There is no doubt that Chris Wood was the Championships in form striker last season netting an impressive 27 times in 44 games, 4 ahead of his nearest rivals. It’s no surprise then that the summer has been filled with rumours and speculation about his future at Leeds United with Brighton and Burnley the most recent teams to show interest in the Kiwi striker. Leeds had offered Wood an improved deal and contract extension but now he heads out of Elland Road to the Premiership with Burnley as part of a deal thought to be in excess of £15 million.
Wood was instrumental in Leeds success last year but £15 million was just too good an offer to turn down. He had an exceptional season last year but it was just that, an exception. Wood has shown much promise in the past but never hit those heights before. The 2015-26 season saw 13 goals in 36 appearances in the Championship for Leeds whilst he only had limited opportunities at previous club Leicester scoring 1 in 7 Premier League games and 13 times in 36 Championship games.
Coming into this season I always worried that we could not challenge for the play-offs again if we were over reliant on Wood. In my opinion there is no way he would match last season’s tally this time around. It’s with relief then that our new style of football has seen our midfield rack up the goals with Phillips, Dallas and of course Sáiz on target so far. They of course will not entirely fill the Wood shaped hole in the team, especially with Ekuban injured. But I have faith that the current management team will have seen this coming and prepared for the eventually.
Thomas Christiansen seems to have moved on quickly and I have confidence that unlike previous owners we may actually see most of the £15 million reinvested in a replacement;
The possibility to go to a Premier League club is interesting for him, and probably the money is also much better. He's a professional and if that's his thought we have to respect it.
I personally hope he will do fine. I don't have anything against him, he's a good guy, a good player and he's given until now what I expected of him. Now he's not part of the team so from now on I prepare not to speak about players who aren't mine.
It's obvious that we need to sign a striker. And we're in a little bit of a hurry because of the situation with Caleb. We'd been working on looking at players and we have a list of players who we have approached.
So Leeds will move on, and we will replace Wood just as we replaced Beckford and McCormack before. £15 million is a lot for a striker who has had one good season and we should be able to bring in a decent replacement for that money given some of our summer recruitment. As for Chris Wood, 10 yards out from the goal-line in the Championship he is the best in the business. Will he be afforded the same amount of time and space in the Premiership? I doubt it. He could have been a hero winning promotion at Leeds, now he will get his chance in the Premier League battling relegation and hopefully Leeds can move on to bigger and better things without him.