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Can Chris Wood Produce For Burnley?

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
On 21st August 2017, Burnley FC signed Leeds United striker Chris Wood for a fee of around £15m. The New Zealand international signed a four-year contract at the club. But can he make a difference throughout this season during the Premier League campaign?

Over the past few seasons, Chris Wood has gained much attention for his clinical finishing. The six-foot-three striker had been with Leeds United since 2015. In 83 Championship league appearances, Wood scored 41 times. Last season he managed 27 goals in 44 appearances becoming the Championship leading goal scorer for the 2016/17 campaign.

It was rumoured that many clubs were interested in signing Wood due to his ability of scoring and strength. Now that Burnley have signed him, Sean Dyche believes he can utilise Chris Wood at the top level of English football. Although Leeds did reject an earlier bid of £12m for the striker they held out for the ultimate bid of £15m. This now leaves the Yorkshire club in the dilemma of finding a replacement with the money they have received.
He is not the only addition to Burnley this summer as he joins such players as Jack Cork, Phil Bardsley and Jonathan Walters to name a few. Wood made a timely arrival on a personal level, with Burnley failing to score against West Brom at the weekend. This means that Sean Dyche will more than likely put him straight in the starting lineup come Sunday afternoon.

Burnley's next fixture is up against the runners up from last year, Tottenham Hotspur. It won't be an easy introduction for the New Zealand vice-captain but if he can make a nuisance of himself, he could cause the Spurs defensive line some issues.

Pundits liked watching him play in the Championship but they would also love to see him play at the top level. A player of his physical ability could prove perfect for Burnley. Chris Wood is someone who can not only finish but hold the ball up and muscle defenders. He also has the ability to bring other teammates into play, which can be particularly helpful on the counter attack.

With his strength, he can utilise it in the air and can catch the opposition off guard. Now playing for Burnley, Chris Wood will face his biggest test of ensuring his own future. It will be all down to his performances and the 25-year-old will know what he has to do. Wood will be making sure he gets himself on the scoresheet in the near future; that's just the calibre of player he is.

Wood has appeared 52 times for New Zealand scoring 20 times for his country. He is only eight goals behind the all-time leading New Zealand goal scorer, Vaughan Coveny. It just shows that the striker has the ability not just at club level but at international level too.
So can he actually make a difference to Burnley's season this year? I believe he can but only if he is used correctly. Often, you can't bring in a player and expect them to gel right away - it can take time. Although this can be the case sometimes, Chris Wood has played at many clubs through his career so he should be used to settling in quickly at a new club. Only time will tell and we may get our first glimpse of him this Sunday afternoon against Tottenham Hotspur.
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.


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