Thursday, October 6, 2022

Stoke City Want This 30-Goal Championship Star: Why Hughes Has To Get This Done

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

Stoke City are reportedly targeting Championship’s best striker, Chris Wood, this summer. The New Zealand international has been in scintillating form drawing attention from many Premier League clubs with the Potters being one of them.

Mark Hughes has experienced a horrible season this term with the Potters collecting just 44 points from 38 games. If not for some favourable results going their way during the crucial midseason, Stoke would surely have been a relegation struggler this season.

And one of the biggest concerns for the Potters this season has been their scoring rate. Despite having the likes of Peter Crouch, Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Arnautovic, Mame Diouf, Jonathan Walters and now Saido Berahino, they could put in just 40 goals; with Arnautovic being the club’s top scorer scoring just six goals.

Even Swansea City, who survived relegation one week before the season ends, have more goals (43) sitting three places below them. It is definitely a huge worry and with many aged feet in the attack, quite a few are even expected to depart this summer. Replacing one with Wood could really be a level up for Stoke given the current form of the striker.

The Leeds United striker has scored a whopping 30 goals in all competitions for the Championship side ending the season as the leading goal scorer, and Premier League sides like West Ham United, Southampton and Swansea City are also reportedly keeping tabs on the player. Leeds came agonisingly close to securing a place in the playoffs this season after a phenomenal season.

Birmingham City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship

And manager Garry Monk would definitely want his best striker to stay one more season as they will try to build on the current momentum next season. Wood is labelled at £15 million, an amount all his suitors at top flight English football can give without a second thought.

A centre-forward by nature, the 191cm striker has the perfect physical attributes to excel in the Premier League, having equal control in the air and on ground. He is known for his brilliant close control and sublime finishing from the smallest of chances, an offensive attribute in huge demand among top clubs.

An academy product of New Zealand side WaiBOP United, Wood moved to West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer back in 2008. It was followed by numerous loan stints at Barnsley, Brighton & Hove Albion, Birmingham City, Bristol City and Millwall before Leicester City bought him in 2012. He was sent on loan again to Ipswich Town and finally Leeds United picked him up in 2015.

His previous Premier League stint with the Foxes didn’t go well as he got only seven chances. However, he seems to have returned with vengeance.

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