The two Merseyside clubs in Everton and Liverpool are both seeking for some offensive reinforcements in the market. For Everton, it is a case of finding a proper replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who is probably on his way out of the Goodison Park in the summer. While Liverpool will also want to find a better striking outlet than Danny Ings or Daniel Sturridge. US striker Bobby Wood is apparently on the list of both of the clubs and we will profile the Hamburg striker in this article.
Back in summer, Bobby Wood was just another American addition to the Bundesliga, coming from Union Berlin to Hamburg for a fee of three and a half million euros. Come March, the Hawaii-born American International is now one of the key players, driving HSV, a way out of relegation. Wood came into life especially under new boss Markus Gisdol and is now the main man for the Bundesliga giants up front!
Hamburg currently finds themselves low down the pecking order in the Bundesliga table. They are in sixteenth position, and two points away from securing a safe spot in the table. However, had it not been for their impressive turnaround under new boss Gisdol, Der Dino would have been almost relegated by now.
Bobby Wood has been an important part of Hamburg’s turnaround in the second half of the season. They have picked up 14 points in their last eight games.
After scoring 17 goals in 32 games for Union last season, the 24-year-old has been on a roll this season as well, scoring nine goals in 24 games all competitions. His pace and killer movements has been causing some real damage to the opposition and is certainly a good attribute to have especially if you are getting a hard look by the Premier League clubs. Wood also plays a big part for his country, as he is currently the best USMNT striker after the retirement of Landon Donovan. He has already notched up 25 caps for his country, in which he has found the net seven times.
An extremely smart forward, Wood can use his brain to find space for himself when his team is all over the opponent. He can also use his change of pace to good effect and has a great finish up his sleeves. Wood has a good physique as well, which helps him easing off the defensive pressure. Hamburg’s usual gameplay of crossing the ball into the box also works well for the USMNT International. Everything just sets up perfectly for a Premier League like environment, right?
Well no, the fact that he has been great this season doesn’t make him a good pick in the market either. He is still yet to taste a whole season of Bundesliga football and a move to Premier League might be too early for the 24-year-old. Former US coach Jurgen Klinsmann also concur my point stating “I would advise him not to make a switch right now,” the former Germany international said. “HSV [Hamburg] are already a big club with a wonderful stadium and great fans. The folks love their HSV, and now they also love Bobby.
“For him, Hamburg is not only a stopover. Even though he’s on a roll now, the step into the Bundesliga, and also into a big city like Hamburg, is a major one.”
He added: “He now needs to show consistency for a few years, and then you can. HSV does him good right now. He needs that feel-good atmosphere”, according to ESPN FC.
While there also remains a doubt as to whether Hamburg are willing to let the striker go, after just one season. Despite his reported release clause between 10 to 12 million euros, Markus Gisdol will want to pen down a new contract extension for Bobby Wood as soon as possible.
Bottomline is that Wood is undeniably a great prospect for Hamburg right now but a move to the Premier League might be too soon for the American as he is largely inexperienced when it comes to faring well in big leagues of Europe.
Anas Ali Molla
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