Scouting report - Ryan Nelsen on Burnley striker Chris Wood
26 August 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Ryan Nelsen has known striker Chris Wood since he was called up for New Zealand international duty as a raw teenager. Who better to run the rule over Burnley's new striker than the defender who captained New Zealand in the 2010 World Cup - and spent six months at Spurs two years later...
- Born in Christchurch, New Zealand
- Played for Christchurch and DC United before moving to Blackburn in the Premier League
- Spent seven years at Ewood Park, playing over 200 games for Rovers
- Spent six months at Spurs in the second half of the 2011-12 season
- Ended playing career at QPR before coaching spell in the MLS at Toronto FC
- Won 49 caps for New Zealand, captained the team in the 2010 World Cup
- Now 39 and living in Washington DC
- Born in Auckland, New Zealand
- Played football in NZ before signing for West Brom in 2009
- Loan spells at Barnsley, Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol City and Millwall before joining Leicester in 2013
- Joined Leeds in 2015, scored 44 goals in 88 games for Leeds before joining Burnley this week
- Capped 52 times by New Zealand (20 goals), first called-up aged 18 in 2009
Below: Chris Wood on target for New Zealand
Ryan Nelsen: "I’ve known Chris since he first came onto the scene when he was 18. In all honesty, I think it’s a really good purchase for Burnley. He’s grown and matured at Leeds and he’s a lot like Harry Kane in many ways. It takes time, a few loan moves, a few hits and misses until you find the right time in your development.
"It’s different for every player and for Chris, especially in the last 18 months, he’s shown he can score goals regularly at Championship level and that is a hard league. He’s got better players around him now, a good coaching staff and now it’s the next step. I know he’s hungry and motivated to do it.
"I remember that raw youngster, I remember him being a physical specimen, even at that age. He’s six-two, broad shoulders, one of those players who always manages to hurt you in training when he doesn’t even mean to! It’s an elbow, a knee, backing in, always something!
Below: Ryan in action for us in the FA Cup at Stevenage - February, 2012
"He’s physically dominant and works hard. He never gives up, chases lost causes and keeps the team honest. A team like Burnley really suits his DNA. They make you work every second and he will fit in perfectly. The Premier League is a huge step up but he has all the attributes. Like most New Zealanders, he’ll learn, he’ll listen and take the opportunity. I’m sure he’ll show what he can do.
"How would I defend him? As a team, Tottenham pressure teams so well, so generally the supply becomes rushed and not very good because of that pressure. As a centre-back, I would want a defensive midfielder just to keep an eye in front of me because he can hold the ball up, pin you and if he gets that time and brings other players into play, that’s where he can be dangerous."