Prior to Andrea Radrizzani’s takeover of Leeds United back in 2017, the Whites were not exactly renowned for their transfer business, with Massimo Cellino’s tumultuous three-year spell as the club’s owner doing more harm than good to the Elland Road side’s chances of securing promotion back to the Premier League.
However, Radrizzani’s purchase of the then-Championship side, alongside Victor Orta’s appointment as the club’s director of football, brought with it the much-required steadiness and planning in the transfer market that would ultimately lead to the Whites securing passage back to the top flight of English football for the first time in 16 years in 2020.
Although, despite Leeds currently being in their most healthy financial position for the best part of two decades as a direct result of the work of Radrizzani and Orta – not to mention the management of Marcelo Bielsa – there is nevertheless one early transfer decision that the Italian and Spaniard may well rue – the 2017 sale of Chris Wood.
Indeed, while a £15m offer from Burnley undoubtedly represented exceptional value for money for a player who had a valuation of just £5.4m at the time, considering the subsequent career that the centre-forward has enjoyed, in addition to the fee the Clarets received from his recent move to Newcastle United, Radrizzani could well rue cashing in on the 30-year-old when he did.
In the five years that have passed following the New Zealand international’s departure from Elland Road, the striker bagged an incredibly impressive 49 goals over 144 Premier League appearances for Burnley – returns that convinced Newcastle to part with an extraordinary £25m in order to bring the forward to St. James’ Park back in January of this year.
Since then, the £80k-per-week centre-forward who Jurgen Klopp dubbed a “machine” has notched a further two Premier League goals for the Magpies – taking his total haul in the top flight of English football to 52, having bagged his first during a spell with Leicester City prior to his 2015 switch to Leeds.
As such, while there were certainly a number of factors involved in Wood’s departure from Elland Road back in 2017, considering just how effective the striker has been in the Premier League since, coupled with Burnley receiving £10m more for the 30-year-old than they paid Leeds, Radrizzani’s decision to cash in on the 68-cap international may well be one the Italian regrets.