When Chris Wood’s move from Burnley to Newcastle United was confirmed last month, there must have been some mixed feelings amongst the Clarets’ passionate fanbase.
On one hand, the New Zealander was a key figure in Sean Dyche’s plans at Turf Moore, but on the other, Burnley made Newcastle and their new mega-rich owner pay every last dime of the 30-year-old’s £25 million release – which you could argue is substantially more than he is really worth.
Any feeling of remorse in and around the Lancashire club after Wood’s departure was quickly quashed though, as Burnley brought in free-scoring Dutch striker Wout Weghorst from Wolfsburg for a fraction of the fee they received for the Kiwi – £12m.
Since the 2018-19 campaign, only Robert Lewandowski has scored more Bundesliga goals than the 29-year-old, who has managed 59 strikes in the last three-and-a-half seasons.
But while many are expecting Weghorst to help make Burnley more favourable in the English Premier League odds from the get-go and potentially save them from relegation, what exactly does the imposing Dutchman bring to Dyche’s regime? Read on to find out more!
As we’ve touched on already, Weghorst is certainly no stranger to finding the back of the net. While he fired a blank on his debut against Watford earlier this month, which we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for as he’s still adapting to life in a new country and league, we’re sure the goals will start flowing sooner rather later.
Despite being almost 6’5 inches tall, the 29-year-old proved at Wolfsburg that he can score a wide range of goals, using both his head and his feet- but he is the most prolific in the box, like an old-school, typical poacher in many ways.
Link-up play with Maxwell Cornet
In the game against the Hornets, Weghorst showed a willingness to drop back and link the wall. Over time, that could lead to the Dutchman forming a nice link-up play with Maxwell Cornet, holding the ball up while he bombs forward or even flicking on long balls from the back – a speciality of Dyche’s style – for the Ivorian to run on to.
The 25-year-old has scored an impressive six times in 11 Premier League games this season, and with a strike partner more willing to drop deep than Wood was, Cornet could really thrive and start to find the back of the net even more. They are a duo, who if really could link-up well, will help Burnley’s survival chances in the EPL tips.
An upgrade from Wood
There’s no doubt that Wood was a real fan favourite at Turf Moor after five years of service for the Clarets, but it’s shrewd business from the Burnley chiefs to get Newcastle to fork out £25m for the 30-year-old and spend just half of that on Weghorst, who’s the better player overall.
With just three goals in 17 Premier League games for Burnley this season, Wood wasn’t exactly helping guide the side away from the relegation zone as he has done in previous seasons.
The Dutch forward is the better goalscorer, but he is also a more well-rounded footballer- better than Wood with the ball at his feet, his back to goal and dropping back to help the team.