Burnley break club transfer record to sign Chris Wood for £15 million

The striker joins the Clarets after scoring 44 goals in 86 games for Leeds United.

Burnley break club transfer record to sign Chris Wood for £15 million
Wood is a key figure for New Zealand (Getty Images/Stuart Franklin)

Burnley have broken their transfer record to secure the services of New Zealand striker Chris Wood for £15 million.

Speculation had been mounting after last season's Championship top goalscorer ruled himself out of Leeds United's fixture against Sunderland on Saturday and his move across the Pennines was confirmed on Monday afternoon.

Tough times at West Brom and Leicester City

Wood arrived in England nine years ago when he signed for West Bromwich Albion from New Zealand side Waikato FC. Yet the powerful striker failed to settle at The Hawthorns, making just 27 appearances in a four-and-a-half year stay that incorporated six loan means within the Championship and League One.

However, Wood impressed Leicester City and was eventually signed by the Foxes in January 2013. 19 goals in 53 games across 16 months helped Wood secure a regular place in the first team, duly helping Leicester achieve promotion to the Premier League in May 2014.

Wood was unable to keep his place in the squad during the 2014-15 season and was duly sent to Ipswich Town for a brief period on loan. After just one goal and 17 appearances all season, Wood was offloaded to Leeds United for a reported £3 million.

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Finding his feet at Leeds

The pressure was on the New Zealand captain from the outset as he became Leeds' most expensive signing for 13 years. However, 13 goals in 37 appearances during a stellar season helped to ease the weight on his shoulders.

Yet Wood enjoyed the best season of his career last year. 27 goals ensured he finished the season as the Championship's top goalscorer with Leeds just missing out on the play-off places. 

An excellent campaign was rounded off with personal achievements when the man who has netted 20 goals in 52 games for New Zealand was voted in the PFA Championship Team of the Year. At club level, he won the Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year awards.

"I've got goals and dreams that I want to achieve and it starts here"

The 25-year old explained to Burnley's website that the lure of the top flight was too hard to turn down. “My ambition has been to play in the Premier League for years. I’ve had tastes of being in there but I’ve never had the chance to give it a proper bash. Coming here I feel I’ve got a proper opportunity to do that."

Wood, who could be in Burnley's squad for their Carabao Cup clash against Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night, also reserved praise for his new manager, Sean Dyche. “The manager has given me a lot of confidence and backed me to bring me here. I’ve still got a lot of good years ahead of me. I’ve got lots of ambitions to achieve in the future. I’ve got goals and dreams that I want to achieve and it starts here.”