Chris Wood talks about departure from Leeds in 2017

Sam Preston October 30, 2020
Chris Wood talks about departure from Leeds in 2017
Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Chris Wood departed Leeds United in 2017, on the back of a season where he scored 27 league goals at Elland Road.

The New Zealander joined Burnley, and has spoken to the Times about why he felt he had to go and chase his dream.

In the meantime, Wood has made 99 Premier League appearances for the Clarets, while the Whites only just got promoted ahead of this season.

He hopes the Leeds fans understand why he departed when he did, and will come face to face with his former employers on Boxing Day.

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“It had been my dream since I was a kid to play in the Premier League,” explains Wood, when asked about his Leeds exit.

“I had spent seven years in the Championship waiting to get that break and I couldn’t guarantee that I would get another chance.

“I hope most Leeds fans understand that.”

Wood has gone on to establish himself as an awkward Premier League customer, bloodying the noses of a few established giants since 2017.

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Leeds are doing something similar with their high-octane style of play, which is different to the safety-first approach Garry Monk had them playing during Wood’s best season.

Patrick Bamford is a completely different profile of striker but he’s smashing in the goals for Marcelo Bielsa right now.

He’s the best frontman Leeds have had since Wood, and is shining in the Premier League after a host of unsuccessful top flight loan spells, including one at Turf Moor.

Losing Wood hurt Leeds in a major way at the time, but they recovered and got into the Premier League eventually, and their reunion with Wood in December should be an intriguing clash of styles.

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Sam Preston a senior football writer for the Boot Room and United in Focus. He is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist with five years of professional experience writing digital content. He studied with the Press Association and also has a 2:1 Law with French Law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Burnley, Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.