Striker expected to complete move when transfer window opens
ALBION have agreed in principle to sell Chris Wood to Championship promotion hopefuls Leicester for an undisclosed fee.
The Baggies also accepted an offer from Millwall, where Wood has just spent a successful three-month period on loan, but the 21-year-old striker has opted to join the Foxes.
Wood, who was yesterday recalled from his spell at the New Den, is expected to complete his move to the King Power Stadium when the transfer window reopens on Tuesday.
Albion’s sporting & technical director, Dan Ashworth, said: “Chris joined our Academy as a 15-year-old and has progressed through the ranks.
“We have had fierce competition in the forward positions over the past few years, which means Chris has been unable to establish himself in the first team.
“He’s now had two or three really good spells out on loan and this is a good time for him to begin a new, permanent challenge.
“Chris is a great lad and we’re particularly grateful for his contribution to our automatic promotion success of four seasons ago.
“We wish him all the best at Leicester.”
After cutting his teeth at Under-18 and reserves level, Wood became one of the club’s youngest top-flight debutants when he came on as a sub at Portsmouth in April 2009 at the tender age of 17.
The following campaign saw the Auckland-born striker bag the club’s official Young Player-of-the-Year Award after scoring his first two senior goals and making 23 appearances to help Albion secure automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
Wood then became the club's youngest player to appear at a World Cup when he made three sub appearances for New Zealand at South Africa 2010, after helping the All Whites reach the Finals through the play-offs. He also played for his country at this year’s Olympic Games.
During the past three seasons, Wood has gained valuable first-team experience during loans spells at Barnsley, Brighton and Bristol City – but most notably at Birmingham and Millwall.
Last term, he netted ten times in 28 appearances for Blues, playing a pivotal role in their Europa League success, while this season he has scored 11 goals in just 19 appearances for the Lions.
In total, Wood has played 27 times for Albion, including 21 sub appearances, scoring three times.