Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wood Proves His Value but Now Everyone Has Noticed; BRIGHTON 2 MILLWALL 2

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wood Proves His Value but Now Everyone Has Noticed; BRIGHTON 2 MILLWALL 2

Article excerpt

Byline: Giuseppe Muro

BRIGHTON'S late equaliser was not a terminal blow to Millwall's promotion chances but losing Chris Wood next month may well be.

The on-loan West Brom striker scored twice and is quickly becoming the hottest property in the Championship with the transfer window less than two weeks away.

Wood has scored 10 goals in 18 games since joining in September but his loan expires on January 1 and Millwall have yet to agree a permanent deal.

The 21-year-old has attracted the interest of a number of Championship clubs with Leicester and Brighton reportedly ready to make a move.

Manager Kenny Jackett wants to break the club's transfer record with a [pounds sterling]1million bid when the window opens and, on last night's evidence, it is easy to see why. Leading the line as a lone striker, Wood provided so much more than his two expertly taken goals. His hold-up play and ability to link up with teammates, coupled with an understanding of when to drop deep and when to stretch the opposition defence with runs in behind showed a maturity beyond his years.

When his first chance arrived after 25 minutes, a deft near-post flick from Shane Lowry's low cross displayed predatory instincts and had Millwall ahead. The New Zealand international's second goal, a dipping effort from 30 yards to double that lead shortly after the break, was equally impressive.

When Millwall lost possession, he hustled and harried to win it back. He was withdrawn two minutes from time to a standing ovation from the travelling fans.

Jackett said: "I don't have any further news, you will have to ask people above me. But do we like him and would we like him here? Of course we would.

"I can't talk for any other club but he is with us at present. I can only reiterate that I'm keen, and we're keen on him.

"We have been very pleased with him and he has fitted in here really well with the other players."

Wood does not feature in Steve Clarke's plans at The Hawthorns and the striker told Standard Sport in October he would be happy to join Millwall permanently.

Chairman John Berylson insists funds are available to strengthen the squad in January but replacing such an integral player would be difficult. …

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