Burnley have been linked with a £9m move for talented Middlesbrough youngster Nathan Wood.
The 17-year-old is the latest exciting youngster to emerge from the academy on Teesside and was Boro’s youngest ever player when he featured in the League Cup last season.
And, he has another three appearances, all in the cup, since, with Boro easing him into the first-team environment.
However, his rise hasn’t gone unnoticed, with The Sun reporting that Burnley are set to lodge a £9m bid for the player in January.
Here we look at that potential deal in FLW’s latest Six Pointer…
1) Firstly, what type of player is Wood?
“The teenager is a centre-back and is a modern defender in the way he plays.
“His outstanding attribute is probably his pace, meaning he is capable of playing in a high line and can recover quickly.
“As well as that, he is assured in possession and would be able to play in a side that builds from the back. Of course, he must keep improving but the interest in the player comes from the fact he has all the qualities needed to go to the very top.”
2) £9m seems a lot for someone his age, will Boro cash in?
“It does seem a lot of money for someone that hasn’t played a league game but you can’t imagine Boro will be in a rush to sell for that fee. Given the way the market is going, Wood could be worth a lot more in the years to come.
“Boro shouldn’t be in a position where they are desperate to sell, so the fans will hope that they only cash in for a ridiculous offer – which £9m isn’t.”
3) Is it a move that will appeal to the player?
“Even though Burnley aren’t the biggest club in the top-flight, the reality is that the chance to move to the Premier League is going to appeal.
“From a financial perspective, you will imagine that the Clarets are capable of paying more and there’s no point pretending that won’t be a factor either.
“Wood may also see Burnley as a club that he could realistically get first-team minutes for down the line.”
4) Would a move benefit his career development?
“You would have to say not.
“With so much at stake in the Premier League, it’s extremely tough for youngsters to get opportunities, which isn’t the case in the Championship.
“If Wood is focusing purely from a football perspective then staying at Middlesbrough looks to be the best option, particularly with Jonathan Woodgate eager to give kids a chance.”
5) Is there any other interest in the player?
“Yes, it won’t be straightforward for Burnley to finalise a deal.
“The initial report stated that the Clarets are facing competition from Everton, Tottenham and Arsenal, with the trio monitoring his situation.
“That’s not good news for Boro either, as if one club does lodge a formal bid, it could force the hand of others and there are some very attractive clubs that will appeal to Wood.”
6) Finally, can you see this happening?
“Ultimately, money talks, so you can’t rule anything out.
“There shouldn’t be any reason to worry for Boro as he signed his first professional deal earlier in the summer and seems to be enjoying himself in the north-east.
“But, if a big-money offer materialises then things can change quickly and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.”