Did any of us want Wood to leave? Of course not. He was our leading goalscorer and a proven commodity in the Championship. Should he have left? It's debatable but when players say they have Premier League aspirations and then join Burnley, a team who at best will be solid mid-table, it strikes you as someone who has aspirations to earn Premier League wages. Do I hold it against him? Not at all. Players only have a very small window in which to make a good money before spending the next 30 years trying to find another source of income.
I'm not mad at us selling Chris Wood, a tad disappointed that he chose not to play against Sunderland perhaps, but certainly not mad. In fact, I'm celebrating at how Leeds United conducted themselves. For the first time in years we've sold a player, not because they're in the last year of their contract, but because a talented player is wanted by a club from a higher division and we negotiated a fee that we deemed acceptable.
Look at how we lost the likes of Jonny Howson, Max Gradel and Sam Byram. They were players we didn't want to pay the going rate so we lost them for smaller fees. I never understood that logic. Why ever let players of that ilk even get near the last year of their deal. Even if you want to cash in on them, give them a better contract, then sell, so you are in a better position. It's win-win. They player gets improved terms and the club is in a much better position to negotiate.
Look at how Johnson and Kilkenny left. Two players who, no matter what you think of them, were regularly starting throughout the season and I'm sure Simon Grayson would have wanted to keep. Charlie Taylor left under similar circumstances. After falling out with the owner we failed to secure one of the best young players to come through the academy in some time. Although we made money from Taylor leaving, it could have, and should have, been for a higher price.
I don't get why people are blaming Andrea Radrizzani for this Chris Wood thing.. He gave him a new contract but the player wants to go #lufc— Ryan (@LeedsUtdRyan) August 19, 2017
I think the club offering Wood a new contract is thier way of letting us know there trying to keep him , as said before it up to Wood now— Chris wilson (@wi1son79) August 18, 2017
So why should we be happy about this? Well for one thing the club conducted itself in a respectable manor. If the club is to be believed, and given what Radrizzani has done for the club so far I'm inclined to believe him, Wood was offered an improved contract with get-out clauses to still allow him a move. Wood was not berated for his desire to move on unlike with previous regimes and the fans were not treated like idiots. We all knew what was going on, so instead of trying to cover it up, the club just let the situation play out.
The alleged £15m that will be coming in is to reinvested in the team and the club seem to already have a shortlist drawn up for Wood's replacement. The team performed admirably against a Sunderland side who had made a good start to the season and Leeds transitioned seemlessly to life without the New Zealand striker. Although not worth as much as it used to be in football, £15m can still go a long way in the Championship. Hopefully now the clubs scouting can pay off and find a suitable replacement. I would like a new striker as soon as possible but I also want the club to really do their research.
For the first time in a long time it feels as if the club has gone about things in a normal way. A player wants to move to fulfil their aspirations/earn more money (delete as applicable), and we have made them a good offer before selling them for what the club deemed to be a good amount. Hopefully this is how the club continues to do business, in a steady, forward moving way.
Christian is a member of the Mighty Whites Podcast and joins Jack and Connie to discuss all the latest happenings at Elland Road. You can listen to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and YouTube.