Chris Wood's milestone proves he is a modern day Burnley great

It was marked by the club, and clearly celebrated by his teammates, but Chris Wood’s half-century of Premier League goals barely raised an eyebrow outside Burnley and his ever-proud homeland.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 12:30 pm
Chris Wood heads his 50th Premier League goal

However, the 29-year-old’s achievement deserves more plaudits, especially when closer scrutiny is applied.

Wood joined an elite club last season, when he hit double figures in the Premier League for the fourth-successive campaign, with the only other players to match that feat in the same time being Harry Kane and Son of Spurs, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane of Liverpool, Jamie Vardy of Leicester, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette of Arsenal, and Manchester City's Raheem Sterling.

The company Wood is in, in that respect, says a great deal.

To hit 50, including one in 2014 for Leicester, in 148 games, is some going, given Burnley have not been renowned as a side who creates a plethora of chances in his four and a bit seasons at Turf Moor.

He has hit 50 in only 18 games more than Edin Dzeko, who was feasting on the clever passes served up by the likes of David Silva, Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure.

And he reached the milestone in eight games fewer than Paolo Wanchope, who, again, played alongside such gifted attacking players such as Eyal Berkovic, Ali Benarbia and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Then you look at the quality of striker who failed to hit a half century in the Premier League, and Wood shows the level of finisher he should be considered among.

He has more Premier League goals, in fewer games, than all of Troy Deeney, Bobby Zamora, Frederic Kanoute, Juan Pablo Angel, Dominic Calvert Lewin, Marko Arnautovic, and legends of yesteryear Ian Rush and Dean Saunders, who, admittedly, scored the majority of their goals before 1992, and the Sky revolution.

Moving forward, Wood will surpass much-vaunted frontmen, and in fewer appearances, than Andy Johnson (51 in 187), Danny Welbeck (51 in 252), Darius Vassell (52 in 265) and Chicharito (53 in 158).

Indeed, he is up among Josh King (52 in 182) and Gabriel Jesus (52 in 141), seemingly without the perception he should be considered in that bracket.

Well he is, and some.

Strangely, he seems to be as recognised for being offside, often top of the Premier League statistics in that sense, or for the opportunities he misses.

But while he had a slow start to last season; and, again, this, you’d back him to make it five seasons on the spin in double figures.

Again, perception is that he is a big lad, who scores with a lot of headers.

And again, that would be misleading in the extreme.

He is a scorer of every type of goal, an old-fashioned poacher, the centre forward who attacks crosses, one who runs in behind off the shoulder and can provide a clinical finish.

Even taking into account the opposition last week in The Gambia, his lovely control, rounding the keeper to slot home, was another case in point.

It’s a shame; but it seems Wood - who, if he has a terrace chant, it clearly hasn’t caught on - is one of those players who will be remembered more fondly when he has left Turf Moor, than while he is rattling in the goals here.

Enjoy him while he is, because he deserves to be acknowledged among Burnley’s best, and a very fine Premier League frontman.