Aston Villa manager Dean Smith could sign the club’s new Christian Benteke in Burnley striker Chris Wood.
Football Insider recently claimed that the £7.2m-rated marksman is being lined up by Smith as someone to add more firepower to go along with Ollie Watkins, adding that Villa “are one of three top-12 Premier League clubs keeping close tabs on Wood.”
Given his style of play, he could well be the man to finally replace Benteke after the big Belgian’s departure from Villa Park a few years ago.
Wood has been hailed as a “natural goalscorer” in the past by former Leeds manager Garry Monk, whilst former Millwall team-mate Scott Malone added to the rave reviews by claiming that “he’s frightening” to play against.
Since he made the step up to the Premier League, the striker has taken to the top flight like a duck to water, bagging 47 goals in 136 games at that level, leading to Newcastle icon Alan Shearer to hail the impact he has had for Burnley.
The former Magpies striker said: “I like him, I like what he does for the team and he is the focal point for them. He is very good at occupying two centre halves. He is a get out for Burnley if they want because they are not afraid to knock it long.
“He can keep hold of it and bring other players into the game. He is horrible to play against and he won’t give defenders a moment’s peace.”
Just like Benteke, Wood is an absolute handful for defenders to deal with, and he is a real threat in the air – last season in the Premier League saw him win a massive 4.7 aerial duels per game, which was the joint fourth-best in the entire division (Benteke was top with 6.8).
Wood’s potential arrival would give Villa a different dimension to their attack, something they haven’t really had since Benteke was in his absolute pomp in the Midlands.