This season, when Leeds are linked with a transfer rumor, it’s either about Charlie Taylor leaving or someone coming into the squad. But yesterday, the rumor linked another one of our own with a move away.
Usually during this time of the year, rumors are circulated all throughout the football world. Most of them are false, and I am led to believe that this one is indeed false as well. Why do I think these rumors are nonsense? Here are my three reasons.
1. Chris Wood is a very happy man here at Leeds.
Chris Wood has played in the Premier League before, but when he played for Leicester, he was young, inexperienced, and never really had a chance to prove himself. When Leicester got promoted to the Premier League, Chris Wood found himself unused. His only goal for Leicester in the Premier League came in their first game of the 2014/15 season as he came on to replace Jamie Vardy, ultimately scoring against Everton to earn the Foxes a point in a thrilling 2-2 game. He only made 7 appearances for Leicester after that game.
Today, Wood is a very happy man at Leeds United. He is an integral part of Monk’s system and the focal point of the entire offence. That shows with the amount of goals he has put into the team. We would not be where we are in the table without him, and we wouldn’t be the same moving forward without him either. To be the star of a team pressing for promotion? Yeah, that’s not a bad spot for Chris Wood.
2. Playing time would be less were he to make the move.
Despite rumours suggesting he’s being valued at $15 million by Andrea Radrizzani and Massimo Cellino, if he were to make the move to the big boys, would he get a fair amount of playing time?
No. Simple as that.
The Black Cats of Sunderland are said to be interested, as David Moyes looks to bolster his attack during the thick of a relegation battle. If Wood were to make the move, he would likely still be behind forwards Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe. The highly rated Championship goal-scorer would be forced to watch his team struggle week in and week out from the substitutes bench, where his minutes on the pitch would be few, which is a waste of the the great talent the 25 year old is. Were he to play ahead of the two of them, the service he’d receive likely wouldn’t be what it’s been at Leeds either: remember, Sunderland are 19th in the table.
In the other rumour, Chris Wood is said to be of interest to Slavan Bilic and West Ham. This move would be interesting because of the drama that is surrounding Dimitri Payet (Brace the Hammer is doing a great job covering that, if you’re interested).
The Hammers are struggling after their recent success of last year, but if The Big Kiwi were to join them on a transfer, he would still be struggling for regular gametime. The Hammers finally have Andy Carroll healthy. When he is fit, he is a striker who can score with ease, and he is irreplaceable to the squad (and a class above Wood, to be fair). Also in the team are forwards Diafra Sakho and Andre Ayew. The only problem with West Ham right now is that Diafra Sakho could be out for up to eight more weeks, and Andrew Ayew is away with Ghana for the African Cup of Nations. So their interest in Chris Wood makes sense, but temporarily, so it still isn’t a move I could see happening.
And then the biggest reason these rumors are nonsense...
3. Why would Chris Wood move to a team in the Premier League, just to potentially get relegated in the same season?
We all know that Leeds are in the thick of a title and promotion race to get back up into the Premier League. Sunderland and West Ham alike are struggling for form and both could easily get relegated to the Championship for next season (Sunderland are 19th, and West Ham, while 12th, are only a few points from the danger zone). This brings the question: Why would Chris Wood make the jump to a so-called “bigger club” if he will just wind up back in the Championship the next season?
Sunderland especially just doesn’t make sense to me, and I feel like it would be a wasted move in his career and one he’d come to regret, especially if Leeds go up at the end of this season. We’ve seen what’s happened to our other stars that recently made the move up to the Premier League without the rest of the lads in White: Cook and Byram have struggled for playing time, when they could have played a key role in bringing us up in 2017. I don’t think Wood will make the same mistake, no matter what wages teams offer in the January window.
To sum it all up, I think this rumor is nonsense. It said those two teams aren’t interested because of the high price tag, of £15 million that we’ve placed on him, but I think it’s that high simply because we’re not selling him at all. Garry Monk has told the media he is not selling anybody this window, nor does he want to because of how well the team gels with “Winner Wood” in the XI. His 14 goals so far in the Championship are already one more than he had all last season, and he is integral to the team. It would be foolish for us (and for him) to make such a move.
Don’t worry fellow fans, our talisman isn’t going anywhere! (I mean, let’s hope not.) MOT.