The news that all Leeds United supporters had been dreading was finally announced yesterday as star striker Chris Wood sealed a move to Premier League side Burnley for a fee of around £15 million. Speculation had grown rapidly in the last week and was further heightened when the striker was left out of Thomas Christiansen’s squad for the trip to Sunderland at the weekend.
The 25-year-old forward was one of Leeds’ key players last season, and everyone connected with the club would have been hoping that he stayed at the club for at least one more year to try and gain that long awaited promotion back to the top flight of English football. However, that has proved not to be the case, and it will now be interesting to see how the striker fares in the big time under the management of Sean Dyche.
We take a look at the reasons why Leeds might regret selling their main man if they do not achieve promotion come next May.
Goalscorers at this level are invaluable
It felt like the striker’s move to Burnley grew inevitable with every passing day, mainly due to the amount of power that players have in regards to their future in the modern game. There are still many other players in stressful situations across football such as Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez and Philippe Coutinho whose futures remain up in the air with very little of the transfer window remaining.
Wood may well have wanted to move on which makes it very difficult for the club to stand in his way. However, you would think that a club like Leeds who have aspirations for promotion this season, would have done more to try and keep their main man at the club. The forward found the back of the net 27 times last season and really made a difference to Garry Monk’s side as they agonisingly missed out on a place in the playoffs.
There is no doubt that Christiansen has made many impressive signings this summer including the likes of Samu Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski among others but none of these players possess Woods’ goalscoring instinct, and he will subsequently be sorely missed. Goalscorers such as Wood are very hard to come by, especially at this level, and that is why they are valued so highly.
Rudy Gestede a potential replacement?
It remains to be seen how much of the £15 million received for Wood will be allocated to Christiansen by the club’s hierarchy for a replacement, but you would suspect a hefty sum would be made available if they have serious aspirations for promotion. One player that the club have already been linked with is Middlesbrough striker Rudy Gestede.
Leeds have reportedly had a bid of £5.5 million turned down by the Teeside club for the forward. However, it looks highly unlikely that Leeds will ever be able to land a deal for a striker that has regularly featured in Boro’s starting line-up under Monk so far this season. He has formed a good partnership with Britt Assombalonga and all the signals coming out of Boro so far is that they are not willing to sell. This just goes to show how difficult it may be for Leeds to sign a replacement for Wood before the transfer window slams shut.