Getting to know Burnley’s new signing Chris Wood

Burnley have added New Zealand forward Chris Wood to their side, signing from Leeds United on what is thought to be a club record fee of $24 million. So we know he’s from New Zealand, and we know he came from Leeds, but what else do we know about Burnley’s new front-man? 

He can score goals
Chris Wood almost helped Leeds United to a spot in the promotion play-offs scoring 26 goals to be the leading goal scorer in the Championship in 2o16-17. That’s more than Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, and Sergio Aguero scored last season. He also scored more than Gonzalo Higuain, Neymar, and Cristiano Ronaldo!

Wood netted against 19 of the 23 sides he faced in the Championship last season. Leo Messi scored against 17 of the 19 teams he played in 2016-17.

Form last season
Wood had 82 shots at goal for Leeds last season and converted more than half of the shots on target into goals. He also had a hand in four assists and created 36 chances for his team. This will come in handy when playing in the Premier League, as will, Wood won 135 aerial duels, and won 29 fouls. Wood also made 526 passes with a 61% accuracy.

He has Premier League experience
Albeit not much, but this isn’t Wood’s first voyage to England’s top tier. He has 10 Premier League caps to his name with stints at West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City, he left the Foxes before their 2015-16 winning season. The Kiwi international has been around England’s top two tiers since signing with the Baggies in 2009. He has had loan stints at Barnsley, Brighton & Hove Albion, Birmingham City, Millwall, Bristol City, and Ipswich Town, before signing for Leeds in 2015 and scoring 41 times in 83 matches.

He’s from New Zealand
Alright, I know we mentioned this in the intro, but let’s delve a little deeper. Only six New Zealanders have played in the Premier League. Lee Norfolk (Ipswich), Danny Hay (Leeds), and Simon Elliot (Fulham) all had short stints while Winston Reid has made close to 200 appearances for West Ham United since signing in 2010, and Ryan Nelsen made 198 appearances for Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers, and Blackburn where spent seven years and captained the club.

Wood has made 52 caps for his country scoring 20 goals and has played at the London Olympics, the recent Confederations Cup, and the 2010 World Cup. In 2014, at 22 years of age, he became the youngest player to captain New Zealand, he is now the country’s vice-captain.

So the only question that remains is whether he will have the same impact for Burnley in the Premier League, they proved against Chelsea they can be a threat from set-pieces, so don’t be surprised if you see Wood getting on the end of their crosses into the box.

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