David Prutton: This is why Leeds will be a better team without Chris Wood
By Harry Sykes
David Prutton is convinced that Leeds United can be an even more effective team this season without Chris Wood.
The New Zealand international’s goals nearly took the team to the Championship play-off last season before a final-month collapse meant they ended in seventh.
Wood scored 30 goals in all competitions, topping the second-tier charts with 27 in the league alone, and became a magnet for Premier League teams.
Burnley won the race for his signature and landed the 25-year-old for £15million in the final fortnight of the summer window.
Prutton is an admirer of Wood but explained how Leeds played to his strengths and his exit means they can develop into a more fluid team capable of creating and scoring goals in more ways and from different players.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“These are early days still and a proper assessment of Christiansen needs a bit more time,” Prutton told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “The same it true of his team.
“Having watched Leeds beat Nottingham Forest – and not only beat them but wipe the floor with them – I’m starting to wonder if selling Wood might have the positive effect of creating more fluidity and movement up front.
“A conclusion on that can’t really be drawn after a couple of games but it’s something to watch. Leeds had one arrow to fire with Wood last season. In terms of numbers, there’s more in that department now.”
Leeds’ top scorers this season are summer signing Samuel Saiz, who has netted five times, and Kemar Roofe, who has four goals.
Leeds have begun the new campaign in excellent fashion, securing 11 points from five Championship matches and demolishing lower league opposition in their two League Cup fixtures.
The team, who have won all three of their away league fixtures, are third in the table ahead of Saturday’s home clash against Burton Albion.
Christiansen must decide which of his many striker options should spearhead the attack after signing Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Pawel Cibicki on deadline day to compete with Jay-Roy Grot and the injured Caleb Ekuban for the centre-forward role.