Can Chris Wood help Burnley survive another year
in the Premier League ?
DATE: 09.09.2016 - SOCCERVOICE - NEWSDESK
exceptionally well last season to avoid relegation from the Premier
Sean Dyche’s side never seriously looking
like they would be pulled into a fight for survival during the
However, as is the case with most teams looking to make the
permanent transition from the Championship to the Premier League,
the second season will be the hardest for the Clarets, who are
expected to be fighting for survival after a couple of key
departures over the summer.
Last season two of Burnley’s star men were Michael Keane and Andre
Gray, who were influential in helping Dyche’s side reach the famous
40-point mark and finish the campaign 16th – well clear of the
bottom three. However, both Keane and Gray have departed Turf Moor
this summer, moving to Everton and Watford respectively in big money
Experienced campaigners have been brought in to accommodate the loss
of the duo, with the signings of Jack Cork, Jon Walters and
particularly Chris Wood standing out.
Wood has arrived from Leeds United, in a £15m deal that smashed
Burnley’s club-record late in the transfer window.
Gray’s goals were vital in Burnley’s fight
against promotion last season, with the striker proving to be the
perfect partner for Sam Vokes in attack. There will be particular
pressure on Wood to replicate Gray’s goalscoring form and assist
Vokes throughout the season, as Burnley once again look to survive
Ward and Chris Wood" (CC
BY-ND 2.0) by Tom
Dyche’s side are
priced at 8/15 in the football betting to suffer relegation back
to the Championship, with bookmakers expecting Dyche’s side to have
enough to avoid the drop.
However, a lot of Burnley’s success will be dependant on Wood and
how quickly he settles into life at Turf Moor. Last year, the
25-year-old was exceptional in the Championship for Leeds, scoring
on 27 occasions in the second tier and 30 times across all
competitions, becoming just the sixth player in the club’s history
to achieve that particular feat.
Wood made the perfect
start to his Burnley career with a goal on his Premier League debut
for the Clarets in the
1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, adding to the goal he scored in
Leeds’ 3-2 victory over Bolton
Wanderers on the opening day of the 2017/18 Championship season.
Whilst there is pressure on Wood on his
arrival at Turf Moor, he will have a striker in Vokes – who scored
ten league goals last season – that will ease some of the pressure
on the New Zealand captain, something that he did not have last
season at Elland Road.
Of course, Burnley’s first task of the season is claiming enough
points to survive, which is a task that has been made significantly
harder by the departure of Keane and Gray. However, Dyche has
recruited well this summer, with his squad still looking strong
enough for them not to be considered among the favourites for
£15m man Wood will be key to Burnley’s chance of survival of their
second year back in the Premier League – if the former Leeds man can
rediscover his scoring touch from last season, he will be the man to
replace Gray alongside Vokes, but if he doesn’t, Dyche’s side could
find themselves in trouble.
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