By George Overhill

14th Jan, 2022 | 3:30pm

Time at Leeds United played vital role for Chris Wood

Chris Wood’s career did not get going until his “crucial” period playing at Leeds United, report Chronicle Live following his big-money move.

The New Zealand striker spent two seasons in West Yorkshire before moving to Burnley and his contact with former manager Steve Evans during his time there is credited with setting him on the right path.

Having just completed a £25million move to Newcastle (BBC), his period playing for United has been pinpointed as the turning point in his development.

Wood’s former roommate at West Brom Simon Cox told Chronicle Live: “If you look at him from his time at West Brom and some of his loan spells to where he was at Leeds, somebody got hold of him, his diet changed, he lost a bit of weight, he put on muscle and that’s where he really took off.”

And the man who brought him to Leeds, manager Uwe Rosler told Chronicle Live: “Chris had the physical presence to lead the line, but he also had the mentality to play in the white shirt at Elland Road,”

Fond memories

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With Marcelo Bielsa’s current side struggling with injuries so badly in the forward department fans might be wishing Wood was back in a United shirt now.

But it appears that they can at least feel proud that it was the transfer window headliner’s launchpad to become the player he is today.

Wood had an excellent scoring rate in the slightly over two seasons he featured for Leeds while the club was still playing in the Championship.

He was a one-in-two striker in that time, manager to chalk up a total of 44 goals in 88 appearances.

It was the first time in his career that he truly established himself as a main striker, having been sent out on loan a total of seven times over the the prior five years.

While Newcastle surely had to overpay for Wood by meeting his release clause, considering they are desperate for help in avoiding relegation, they are now considered to be the richest club in the world since their Saudi take-over.

It is unlikely that one of the first targets for them to start spending their money would have been the ex-Whites man were it not for the signing by Rosler.

In other Leeds United news, Sky Sports man reports what the club are willing to do to land their ‘main target’.