COMMENT By Richard Parks
Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta have been slaughtered by Leeds United fans for multiple bum signings over the last two transfer windows.
But owner Radrizzani’s biggest blunder in the market was offloading Chris Wood for a fraction of his value.
Leeds sold the New Zealand international for £15million, according to Sky Sports, in the final days of last August, which the United owner subsequently admitted his club will receive in staged payments.
Radrizzani claimed that Wood pushed for the move to Burnley and that Leeds had little option but to cash in on a player who wanted to quit.
It is hard to dispute that United were fighting a losing battle in trying to hang on to Wood. However, where the new-look board was guilty of great naivety was in the fee they agreed with the Premier League club.
Banking £15million for a striker approaching his peak who topped the Championship goal charts with 27 last season, and had reached the 30-mark in all competitions, was below par and bordering on derisory.
In those post-Neymar-to-PSG days, the top had been blown off the market and there was a premium on the blokes who put the ball in the back of the net.
Wood, 26, has subsequently showed at Burnley that his knack for scoring is equally effective at the highest level.
He has scored nine goals in 22 matches for the Premier League club, including three strikes in the last two games since returning from an injury lay-off.
Were it not for the knee problem that kept Wood out for nearly two months earlier this year, it is likely that his blooming partnership with Ashley Barnes would have had more time to wreak havoc in the top flight.
The Kiwi is more than just a 6ft 3in battering ram. He is mobile, can get behind backlines and pull defenders out of position, is technically good, excellent in the air and is clinical with both feet in the penalty box.
Radrizzani messed up by letting Wood go so cheaply. Leeds should have got at least double the fee they did, with another potential £15million squandered through poor negotiating.
In other Leeds United news, it can be revealed that the club have launched a bid to sign a Premier League centre-forward in the form of his life.