Profile: new Leicester City striker Chris Wood
Chris Wood has hit the ground running in his new role as Leicester City striker, after penning a £2 million deal with the club.
The player made his debut against Huddersfield Town yesterday, scoring twice in the opening 24 minutes.
The 21-year-old New Zealander, who joins City from West Bromwich Albion, said he was delighted with his opening performance.
Wood began his career at West Brom’s Academy at the age of 15 after being recommended by Roger Wilkinson, who coached him for two years in New Zealand.
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He quickly made his way up through the ranks. In April 2009, with a number of West Brom front-liners out of action due to injury, 17-year-old Wood was called up to play Premier League side Portsmouth.
In doing so he became just the fifth New Zealander to play in the Premiership, and one of the club’s youngest top-flight debutants.
Wood penned a professional deal with West Brom in May 2009. The youngster agreed upon a two-year contract, plus a further two years' option in the club's favour.
He signed a three-and-a-half-year deal, with a further one-year option for the club, in December.
In September 2010 Wood was understood to have caught the attention of 10 Championship clubs. West Brom said it was not certain the young striker would go out on loan, but later that month Wood penned a deal with Barnsley.
The 18-year-old, who played three games for New Zealand in the World Cup, signed a 93-day emergency loan with the Tykes.
And in November that year, after leaving Barnsley by mutual consent, Wood joined Brighton on loan until January 2011.
Seagulls manager Gus Poyet told the club website: "Chris is a player we have been aware for a long time. He is an exciting prospect and player with huge potential."
In August 2011, the day before the first match of the Football League Championship season, Wood joined Birmingham City on a one-month loan. His stellar performance, which saw him score eight times in 11 appearances, earned him a loan extension in October.
Birmingham paid an undisclosed loan fee to keep the youngster at St Andrew's for another three months. Wood went on to become the club's top scorer, netting 10 goals in 28 appearances in all competitions.
Wood then went on to add Bristol City to his repertoire. In January 2012 he joined City on loan until the end of the season.
He was then loaned to Millwall, agreeing a switch to The Den in September until November 20. It was then announced he would remain at the club until January 2012, having impressed manager Kenny Jackett with seven goals in 12 appearances.
Jackett told Sky Sports: "We've been pleased with Chris, he's worked hard in the group and if as a centre-forward you can get in the habit of popping up with a winner, that's great. We've been very pleased."
On December 28 2012, a day after being recalled by West Brom, it was announced the club had accepted an offer for Wood from Leicester City.
Lions manager Kenny Jackett was also keen on signing the striker permanently once his loan spell ended, and a bid from Millwall was accepted. The club, however, lost out to City.
Manager Nigel Pearson heaped praise on the youngster, who scored 11 goals in 19 games this season. “He gives us a real tonic in what is a very important part of the season now,” he said.
"He played a very positive part in a very good team performance.”