Leeds United have sold some great players in the modern era as players like Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Robbie Keane sealed big cash withdrawals from Elland Road.
In and among their most expensive exits, however, is one player they sold while participating in the championship – Chris Wood.
The New Zealand international left Leeds to join Burnley for around £ 14.7million in the summer of 2017 as Leeds missed the second division play-offs. This remains the club’s third-priceiest sale in history, with Hasselbaink (£ 15.03m) and Ferdinand (£ 41.4m) the only players before him.
Did Leeds have the right to sell wood?
He has been sold to more than Keane, Robbie Fowler, Alan Smith, Harry Kewell and Fabian Delph. But how did Wood get to this point?
The current colossus, worth £ 50,000 a week, was nabbed by Leeds of Leicester in the summer of 2015 for a reported fee of £ 3.2 million. This was a risk to the club as he scored one goal in seven Premier League games for the Foxes. He couldn’t beat the goalkeeper in the championship even during eight games on loan at Ipswich.
However, that risk paid off for Leeds, which played blinders in the transfer market. He enjoyed a solid first season at Elland Road, hitting the net 17 times in all competitions, including 13 in the championship, and showing signs of promise as a young center-forward.
Wood then exploded in the 2016-17 season when he set the second division on fire for the Whites. He averaged a WhoScored 7.0, scoring a phenomenal 27 goals in 41 starts while providing four assists.
His sensational form in the championship resulted in Burnley paying £ 14.7million for him at the end of that campaign, which meant Leeds made a cool £ 11.5million profit from the striker in two years. While this is a masterpiece of the club in itself, what follows proves that they played blinders.
12 months after the sale of Wood, Leeds signed Patrick Bamford of Middlesbrough for £ 7.11 million. The ex-Chelsea man scored 16 goals in the club’s 2019-20 promotion campaign before scoring 17 top division goals for Marcelo Bielsa last season, proving to be a consistent top scorer. Since then he has also played his first international match for England.
In four full seasons for Burnley in the Premier League, Wood, hailed as “top notch” by Peter Crouch, scored 10, 10, 14 and 12 goals in his four seasons with the Clarets. This suggests that, purely on the scoring basis, Leeds were better off in the end, making a big win with Wood and then replacing him with Bamford.
Since becoming one of Bielsa’s biggest projects, he has spearheaded the Kiwi’s top-scoring Premier League season.
AND in other news, the Leeds Jewel stole the show with a dribble rate of 66.6% on Sunday, dwarfing an ace with a rating of £ 54m …