Australasia gets represented in the Premier League this year!

By on September 1, 2017

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There are two Pacific additions to the English Premier League this season who have been recruited by two “B” teams (and I am not talking about reserve teams, that comes later in the EFL Cup!), with Burnley and Brighton signing players from Australia and New Zealand, respectively.

Go Wood!

Wood you believe it? Burnley have broken their club-record transfer fee by recruiting Leeds United striker Chris Wood for a widely reported £15 million. The New Zealand international is a direct replacement for Andre Gray for the Clarets as they received £18.5 million from Watford for the Little Mix loving striker earlier this summer. Wood’s good form in the Championship, with forty-four goals in eighty-eight appearances since joining Leeds United from Leicester in 2015, had attracted Burnley’s management and the twenty-five-year-old forced the transfer after refusing to play for Leeds in their 2-0 victory over Sunderland.

Burnley are willing to splash on one of the leading men from the English second tier as their 1-0 opening day loss to West Bromwich Albion showed they could do with a bit more firepower this season. He was top scorer in the second tier last season, with twenty-seven strikes in the 2016 /17 Championship campaign, but he has not yet started a Premier League fixture in his career. He Wood presumably like to alter that stat this season and finally notch a few goals in the top division.

Although Burnley are recruiting a relatively young forward, Wood has a bundle of various experience for the New Zealand national team, having represented his Oceania country at the Confederations Cup in June. The former West Brom youth squad member is the sixth signing by Sean Dyche this window and the Lancashire club may not be done with their summer spending yet as they continue to rebuild from the high profile departures of Gray and Michael Keane.

Saving Mathew Ryan!

Saving Mathew Ryan is what Brighton fans will be hoping to see more of this season after the shot-stopping Private Ryan conceded four goals in his opening two Premier League games for his new club. The Australian handler was signed from Valencia for £5 million earlier this summer but the Seagulls will have their fingers crossed they do not end up shipwrecked Down Under at the bottom of the league table.

Ryan’s saving could not stop Chris Hughton’s side from crashing to two 2-0 defeats to Manchester City and Leicester City at the start of the 2017/18 campaign but with the twenty-five-year-old on the bench in their League Cup tie with League Two outfit Barnet, the South Coast soldiers sealed a 1-0 win to progress to round three. The new number one watched on as youngster James Tilley fired in the winner as the Seasiders can give Hanks (or thanks!) to the nineteen-year-old substitute forcing in the solitary strike during the Carabao Cup encounter. Tilley came on at half-time to be the new-name hero on the night.

Brighton have added more signings to the arrival of Ryan as they recruited Davy Propper for £6 million from PSV Eindhoven and Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge for an Amex Stadium club-record £13.5 million. Izquierdo has now signed a contract until June 2021 and the fellow twenty-five-year-old scored fifteen goals in the Belgian Pro League last term. The Seagulls have also signed Soufyan Ahannach from Almere City and agreed on terms with FC Zurich to sign striker Raphael Dwamena for a rumored fee of around £12 million. Brighton are looking to fill all spots in their squad(-ron) army of players to face the fight of relegation before the transfer deadline.

Not Up for the Cup?

Most sides playing in the second round of the Carabao competition have made sweeping changes to their teams so far. Another struggling South Coast side in the English top flight secured their first competitive win of the season, with Bournemouth beating Championship side Birmingham 2-1 at St Andrew’s as Ryan Fraser and Marc Pugh awarded Eddie Howe’s men a much-needed victory.

The draw for the third round of the competition, weirdly, took place in Beijing on Thursday morning at 4:15 am UK time (you no doubt needed to have drunk a lot of Carabao to still be awake at that time) though I doubt many supporters were “up for the cup” in the middle of the night. The energy drink company, based in Thailand, changed the name of the competition to the”‘Carabao Cup,” which was previously known as “Carling Cup” and “Milk Cup” during its fifty-eight-year history.

Homepage photo credit: Jrppezza [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

About Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis can relate almost anything to football and quite often does! You may have seen Richard's previous ideas and work in the BBC Match of the Day Magazine, from 2011 to present. He is a Manchester United and England fan, but has gone to see Leyton Orient play with his O's season ticket in the 2013/14 campaign. Aside from football, Richard has written articles on Doctor Who and studies English Language and Linguistics at the University of Westminster. Aspiring sports journalist.