Andy Ritchie: It's too soon to say Leeds ace is ready for PL
By Harvey Byrne
Former Leeds striker Andy Ritchie believes it’s too soon to say whether current forward star Chris Wood is ready for the Premier League.
The 25-year-old New Zealand international has been in fine form for the Yorkshire giants this campaign, netting an incredible 25 goals from 39 matches in all competitions.
He has been key to the club as they sit in the play-offs with nine matches of the season left and many believe he is now good enough to play in the Premier League whether it’s with Leeds, or not.
However, Ritchie believes it is still too soon to judge him, stating that it’s impossible to know until he’s playing in the top-flight.
“You’ll also have the battle of two good strikers today in Chris Wood against Glenn Murray and they are similar sort of players,” wrote Ritchie in his column for the Yorkshire Evening Post.
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“Obviously Glenn is a bit more experienced. He has been around the block so to speak and knows what it’s all about but he leads the line well, just like Chris is learning to do.
“He’s learning to become a top striker.
“But they are very similar in their stature and in the way they play.
“They hold the ball up well, they make good runs and obviously the two of them know where the net is.
“Whether Chris is ready for the Premier League or not, I think the only way to find out is for him to be there.
“I don’t think you can tell and I don’t think you can say ‘he is ready for it’ until he is there and it’s a very, very competitive place to be.
“You have to be at your best every single game to be a top striker in the Premier League and I think hand on heart, you don’t know until you are actually there and you experience doing it.”
Wood had previously been in the Premier League before Leeds with both West Brom and Leicester.
However, he failed to establish himself at either club and has so far amassed just nine top-flight appearances, bringing a return of one goal.
The striker will be hoping to make his return to the Premier League as soon as possible and Leeds fans will be hoping it will be with their club at the end of the season.
In the meantime, both Wood and his teammates will be gearing up for a battle against second placed Brighton at Elland Road on Saturday evening.
In other Leeds news, Tyler Denton sent an Instagram message to his teammates ahead of the Seagulls showdown.