Critics of the modern game were lining up to express their disbelief after modest, family-friendly Burnley splashed out a club record £15 million on Leeds United striker Chris Wood this summer, as reported by the BBC.
After all, this was a man who failed to make an impression at West Brom and only had one truly prolific league season under his belt. Though what a season it was.
Wood plundered 27 Championship goals to fire Leeds to their best second tier finish in a decade in 2016/17, winning the Golden Boot as recognition of the finest campaign of his career.
And the New Zealand international has maintained that purple patch at his new club. Shaking off a profligate debut against Blackburn Rovers in the EFL Cup, Wood fired home a stoppage time equaliser to exacerbate Tottenham Hotspur’s Wembley woe before striking the winner against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Wood latched onto a dismal Chung-Yong Lee backpass to coolly slot past Wayne Hennessey on his Turf Moor bow. And his excellent start for Burnley will do nothing to sate the frustration of another team in claret and blue.
West Ham had been reportedly interested in Wood since as far back as January, per The Sun, but were eventually beaten by Burnley to his signature after months of speculation. And the fact that The Hammers go into Monday’s clash with Huddersfield Town joint bottom without a point to their name suggests Wood could have come in handy at the London Stadium.
Javier Hernandez looks like a fine addition from Bayer Leverkusen, netting two typical poachers goals in the 3-2 defeat to Southampton last month, but he can’t do it all on his own. West Ham have not been helped by another injury to Andy Carroll, a stupid suspension picked up by Marko Arnautovic and Diafra Sakho publically demanding a move on deadline day.
Wood, meanwhile, looks like an excellent signing which has one claret and blue team in a much better position than the other.