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1718 burnley chris wood 01 1000x500Burnley’s pursuit of Leeds United striker Chris Wood has been successful with the 25-year-old New Zealand international today signing a four year contract with the Clarets for an undisclosed fee after spending the last two seasons with the Championship club.

Wood kicked off his career with West Brom. During his time there he spent time away on loan with five different clubs and that’s when he started to make his name as a goalscorer. It’s just four years since he left West Brom on a permanent basis. He’d scored just one league and two cup goals for them but had added 34 more goals in those loan deals.

The first three loans came when he was still in his teens. He didn’t find the net in the first of them at Barnsley but hit nine for Brighton during the 2010/11 season and added a further eleven at Birmingham in the following season.

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More loans followed at Bristol City and Millwall, where he was particularly productive, but he was recalled from a season long loan at Millwall in the January when West Brom sold him to Leicester who were pushing for promotion to the Premier League.

In two and a half years at the King Power, he didn’t really establish himself but in 33 starts and 29 substitute appearances, he scored 20 goals.  He spent the last part of his time at Leicester in a goalless loan at Ipswich before signing for Leeds in the summer of 2015 where he’s gone on to score 44 goals in 78 starts and ten substitute appearances.

Wood has played against Burnley. He was in the Barnsley side we beat 3-0 at home in October 2010 and in the following season he played against us twice, for Birmingham at St. Andrew’s and for Bristol City at the Turf.

The 2012/13 season saw him feature against us for Millwall, again at Turf Moor, and the 2013/14 brought his only goal against us when he came on as a substitute for Jamie Vardy in Leicester’s 2-0 win at Burnley, although his effort should have been ruled out for a foul on Michael Duff. There were two more appearances in the Championship, this time for Leeds in 2015/16, the sixth team he’d played for against us.

Last season was a huge success for him personally, topping the Championship goal chart with 27 league goals of which just five were penalties.

Wood moved to England to join West Brom in 2009 and proved to be a prolific goalscorer in the academy teams right up to the reserves, so much so that he got a Premier League debut against Portsmouth at Fratton Park, coming on as a substitute for James Morrison. In doing so he became only the fifth of six New Zealanders to play in the Premier League. Winston Reid is the more recent of them but the four that played before him were Lee Norfolk (Ipswich), Danny Hay (Leeds), Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn, Spurs and QPR) and Simon Elliott (Fulham).

He played for New Zealand at both under-17 and under-23 level and it was his performances in an Under-17 World Cup that won him a place at West Brom. He made his full international debut in June 2009 at the age of 17 and has now over half a century of caps.

He’s become the second player from Leeds to join Burnley in this window, following Charlie Taylor who was our first summer signing on 6th July.

Wood could make his Burnley debut at Blackburn. Only three post-war players have made Burnley debuts against our East Lancs rivals. The previous three are Mick Buxton, Mike Walsh and Michael Kightly with all three at Turf Moor. Our new signing has previous in the League Cup against Blackburn. In September last year he scored the winning goal that knocked them out of this competition and that came seven days after he’d scored a league goal against them in a 2-1 win. He’s also scored for both Millwall and Leicester against them.

It’s a big welcome to Burnley for our sixth signing of this transfer window.

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