Lee Johnson’s Sunderland could find it difficult to keep Charlie Wyke at the Stadium of Light this summer.
That’s according to Black Cats legend Kevin Phillips, who claimed in a recent interview with Football Insider that it will be difficult for Johnson to retain the services of the striker if the Wearsiders do not achieve promotion to the Championship this year.
The 28-year-old has been linked with a number of Championship clubs in recent weeks, with Keith Downie claiming that Cardiff City, Middlesbrough, Millwall and Nottingham Forest are all interested in the striker, whose contract at Sunderland expires at the end of the season.
Phillips said: “Sunderland fans will not thank me for it but if you score 30 goals in League One and you don’t go up clubs will come knocking. That is natural, it almost goes without saying.
“From the player’s point of view, I am sure he wants to have a crack at a higher level because he is 28 now. I think it would be extremely difficult to keep hold of him if they don’t go up.”
So far this season, Wyke has been in remarkable form over his 42 League One appearances for Sunderland, scoring 25 goals and registering three assists as well as averaging a highly impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.35, ranking him as the club’s best performer in the division.
As such, it is indeed no wonder that a number of Championship clubs are reportedly interested in signing the 28-year-old this summer – as Phillips has hinted, it seems as if Wyke is a level above League One.
If the Black Cats once again fail to secure a path out of the third tier via the play-offs this season, it would not be at all surprising for Wyke to leave the Stadium of Light in the summer, something which would undoubtedly be a nightmare for Johnson and Sunderland supporters.