Chris Wood’s journey from New Zealand to England - as told by his ex-managers ahead of Newcastle United move

Chris Wood’s career so far, as told by his former managers ahead of his move from Burnley to Newcastle United.

Burnley striker Chris Wood is expected to complete a move to Newcastle United over the next 24 hours.

The New Zealand international underwent a two-part medical on Wednesday and a deal is expected to be wrapped up in time to allow him to make his Magpies debut against Watford on Saturday.

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The move will be the next step in a career that has taken the 30-year-old frontman from an initial move to England with West Bromwich Albion to Burnley via the likes of Brighton, Leeds and Birmingham City.

NewcastleWorld takes a look back at how Wood’s former managers have spoken about his ability and development during his time in the EFL and Premier League.

WEST BROMWICH ALBION - Tony Mowbray (Reflecting on Wood initially joining the club)

“I was manager when Chris came over from New Zealand – he came over as a young boy but had some talent and was a big-framed boy.

“There was potential there. He had that physicality about him. He had a single-mindedness to score goals and work hard.

“You have to wait and see when they’re young boys like that, it’s seeing whether they progress and he obviously has done and he’s got the right ingredients to make a good career for himself.

“I think he’s a pretty focussed, single-minded lad who carries a work ethic with him, a single-mindedness to want to score goals.

“He uses his physicality, he understands that you have to play between the sticks to score goals.

“He gets in those areas.”

WEST BROMWICH ALBION - Roberto Di Matteo (after Wood helped New Zealand qualify for the World Cup in 2010)

“The World Cup will be a great experience for him.

“He came on again and it’s great for a player like him.

“He’s made something like 11 appearances in 16 League games plus cup games.

“It gives a confidence boost to all the players at the club, especially the youth team players and second year pros.

“They can see that if they’re good enough then they can get a chance.

“He’s the first one from the academy to really play so if someone is a good player then I’ll put them in the team.

“We have to patient though.

“His career isn’t just going to up. It’ll be up and down.”

LEICESTER CITY - Nigel Pearson (after Wood scored two goals on his debut against Huddersfield Town)

“His attributes fit the bill. He is a team player who works exceptionally hard, he shows a lot of football intelligence as well and it is very pleasing for him to get off to the start he has.”

“Chris Wood has taken his chances for us and scored some early goals, which makes a big difference.

“He is a very focused young player who has fitted in straight away and gives us a height and physical presence up front, which perhaps we lacked.”

BIRMINGHAM CITY - Chris Hughton (reflecting on dealing with Wood at St Andrews)

“He was 15, just a boy, when he left New Zealand to join West Brom.

“He chased a dream, he settled in the area and he wanted to go out on loan to test himself.

“He loved scoring goals, he thrived on it and he was a real out-and-out number nine.

“I had four strikers in that squad and he had scored ten goals for us but we had to rotate our squad and he wanted to play week-in, week-out to aid his development.

“He went to Bristol City and he continued to develop.”

BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION - Gus Poyet (on the end of Wood’s loan spell with the Seagulls)

“What I know is we helped him a lot. When he was here he was one type of player and when he went back he was in shape, he was quicker, more mature, he scored ten goals, he did well.

“Woody went back, the information we got was that he was staying at the club, that the manager liked him a lot.

“The next day he was at Birmingham.

“It’s not in your hands when the player has got a chance to stay at home and go across the road.

“We didn’t compete because we didn’t have a chance.”

LEEDS UNITED - Uwe Rosler (on how Wood developed at Elland Road)

“He needed a home, he needed to realise that the manager really wanted him and the chairman really wanted him and that he’s playing for a massive club.

“He’s aware of his responsibilities because coming from a squad player to a club where’s he a 40-game plus player he’s aware that he has to perform in each game and has to give us a platform to play on.

“I always said from day one the goals would come because I see what he puts in, and I’m a big believer in life that what you put in you get out.”

LEEDS UNITED - Garry Monk (on how Wood progressed at Leeds)

“When I came in I looked at him very closely, and I could see very clearly he had all the attributes to score goals and do well, especially in this league.

“I sat with him, like I did with all the players individually and told them what I thought, what they can improve on, and then we go out on the training pitch and work at it.

“A big thing was the mentality as well – Chris is a big, powerful lad and he’s got good technique but I think he needed to be more aggressive against defenders.

“Technically we’ve worked on his positioning in the box to try and get into positions to score goals, and he’s taken it all on board.

“He’s been fantastic, he works incredibly hard, like all the other players do, and he’s reaping the rewards for it.

“He looks sharp, he looks fit and he’s working hard for the team. Of course every striker loves to score goals, that’s very important, but it’s his work for the team which is the most important for me.

“That’s what allows you to get the chances and that’s why he’s having such a successful season.”

BURNLEY - Sean Dyche (Speaking after Wood hit a hat-trick in a 4-0 win against Wolves last season)

"There’s still things he can improve in his game. I still think his hold up play can improve because he’s a very physical, strong player.

“The reason I signed him back when we did was because he finds a chance, a way of getting in a position to score a goal.

"Certain things in football are hard to coach, there’s an instinct in players, and he does find a way of being in the right place at the right time.

"I think we’ve got a clutch of strikers who do that well on any given run of form but he’s in good form, he’s performed very well over the last few weeks and he’s shown it again with a hat-trick and an assist."

OPPOSITION - Jurgen Klopp (Speaking after facing Wood’s Burnley earlier this season)

“Watch wrestling if you like that kind of thing.

“We have to stick to protecting the players. I like all decisions in favour of the offensive team, like offside.

“There’s one message, ‘Let the game flow’. Nobody knows exactly what it means.

“I am not 100 per cent sure if we are going in the right direction with this. It feels like we are going 10-15 years back. It is too dangerous.

“But in the end we won and nobody got injured.”