Why Burnley should keep hold of Chris Wood at all costs amid interest
According to claims from Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, as cited by the Daily Mail, Burney striker Chris Wood is the subject of interest from Italian club Lazio. As per the report, the 28-year-old has offered himself to the Serie A outfit, who are on the lookout for a new striker ahead of their Champions League adventure next season.
Wood’s representatives have informed Lazio that their client is interested in a move to the Italian capital while Lazio boss Simeone Inzaghi has also expressed his desire to bring the New Zealand international to the Stadio Olimpico. (Corriere dello Sport h/t Daily Mail)
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Chris Wood initially moved to English football with West Brom. He then spent time on loan at Barnsley, Birmingham City, Brighton, and Millwall before joining Leicester City on a permanent deal.
Wood was loaned back to second-tier outfit Ipswich Town following Leicester’s promotion to the Premier League and he eventually went on to join Leeds United.
A 27-goal haul at Elland Road in the 2016-17 EFL Championship paved the way for a switch back to the top-flight with Burnley in the summer of 2017 and the New Zealander hasn’t looked back since then.
Wood has established himself as a key cog in Burnley’s forward line under Sean Dyche, plundering 34 goals in 94 league outings for the Clarets over the past three seasons. That includes a career-best tally of 14 PL goals this term as the Lancashire club finished 10th in the top-flight standings.
Why Burnley can’t afford to lose him
Wood’s 14-goal haul in the Premier League last season was his best-ever career return in a single top-flight campaign, with the 28-year-old hitting double figures in the Premier League for the third consecutive season.
The New Zealand international has been Burnley’s most consistent goalscorer in the top-flight in the recent past. He has been instrumental in whatever the Clarets have achieved over the past few seasons, with his 6ft 3in frame making him just the ideal centre-forward suited to Dyche’s old-school long-ball philosophy.
Jay Rodriguez, who was roped in from West Brom last summer, contributed with 8 league goals in the PL last term while Ashley Barnes also chipped in with 6 goals before an injury brought a premature end to his campaign.
Still only 28, Chris Wood has several years remaining in his prime and considering that he struck 14 goals in the Premier League this season, it would be simply catastrophic for Burnley to lose him now.
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Being a mid-table side in the Premier League, the Clarets certainly can’t offer their star striker Champions League football like Lazio.
The lure of playing in Europe’s elite club competition is understandable for any player but the best that Burnley can do now is slap a massive price tag on Wood that Lazio would struggle to match in the post-pandemic market.
They would be well within their rights to price Lazio out of a move for Wood, who has a long-term contract at Turf Moor until the summer of 2023.