This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Charlie Wyke shocked many people last week when it was confirmed that he had signed for Wigan Athletic.
The ex-Sunderland striker scored 31 times last season for the Black Cats and it seemed as though Scottish giants Celtic were the front-runners for his signature.
But late in the day it was the Latics who swooped for the 28-year-old, and they’ve apparently offered him an eye-watering £10,000 per week contract to entice him to the DW Stadium.
It surprised a lot in the footballing world that Wyke chose Wigan, but did it surprise the FLW team? Let’s see what they have to say.
Yes, I was very surprised.
Don’t get me wrong, I did feel that moves to top-half Championship sides were perhaps too much of a jump up for Wyke.
He had a great season for Sunderland, but I look at that form with caution given that he’s never really been that prolific in previous years.
Nevertheless, he is an attractive proposition on a free transfer having just scored over 30 goals, and for Wigan to get him, having stayed up in the same league as Sunderland, is a major, major statement of intent.
They look to be really going through it, though, and the additions of Stephen Humphrys and Jordan Cousins show their intent.
How well do you know Sunderland’s celebrity supporters? – Can you score 20/20?
I wasn’t surprised, I was astounded!
Charlie Wyke was excellent for Sunderland last season after finding the back of the net on 31 occasions in all competitions.
With clubs such as Celtic, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Millwall and Cardiff City all linked it seemed that the 28-year-old was destined to get a crack at challenging himself at a higher level, so to see him move to Wigan was a big surprise.
In fairness, the Latics look to be a good fit for Wyke next season and I wouldn’t bet against him scoring 20+ goals for them as they battle for promotion in League One, but I don’t think many people expected him to leave Sunderland for a divisional rival given the amount of interest in his services.
It was an eye-opener.
Sunderland were in with a serious chance of winning promotion into the Championship last term, and Wyke played a key role in that push.
But with the Black Cats narrowly missing out on promotion after a defeat to Lincoln City in their play-off semi-final, it came as no surprise to see him pursue a move away from The Stadium of Light.
Wigan were fighting against relegation last season, and it’s a real statement of intent by them this summer to sign a player of Wyke’s quality.
If Wyke can replicate the performances from Sunderland now with Wigan, then it really wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Latics challenging for promotion into the second tier themselves.