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…
New Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson suffered a double blow at the weekend when defeat to Wycombe Wanderers, was coupled with an injury to striker Charlie Wyke that required his withdrawal at halftime, as confirmed on the club website.
Wyke, 26, twisted his ankle in the first half and had to be replaced by Will Grigg and his manager is unsure how long he will be sidelined for, stating: “That is a shame as he was leading the line really well first half, that is a shame for us, in the first 25 minutes he twisted his ankle and was unable to carry on,
“It doesn’t look good, we will get him scanned quickly and an assessment on that.”
So is the loss of Wyke a big blow for Sunderland or can they cope without him?
“Although Wyke has produced fleeting moments of quality this season, it could be argued that Sunderland may not necessarily suffer in his absence.
“Having scored just two goals for the Black Cats, the forward has drifted in and out of the club’s starting eleven due to competition from the likes of Marc McNulty and Will Grigg.
“Whilst Wyke would have been keen to impress his new boss Phil Parkinson, he will now have to watch on from the sidelines for the foreseeable future due to the nature of his injury.
“Providing that Grigg and McNulty can provide the goods on a consistent basis over the coming months, Sunderland should have more than enough quality to challenge for a top-six finish in League One.”
“This is hugely frustrating for the Black Cats. Even though he’s only scored a couple of goals this season, Charlie Wyke has still been an important player for Sunderland.
“The fact that it’s an ankle ligament injury suggests that he’s going to be out for a long time, so there’s no doubt that it’s a blow.
“Sunderland should have enough depth and quality within their squad to cope without him, but it certainly puts a lot of pressure on the likes of Will Grigg and Marc McNulty.
“Wyke will be hoping to recover from his injury as soon as possible and he’ll be determined to make an impact when he does return to action.”
So is the loss of Charlie Wyke a big blow for Sunderland?
“It’s a tough one and it’s undoubtedly a blow that Sunderland could really do without.
“Wyke’s performances have often left a lot to be desired on more than one occasion, and his move to the Stadium of Light just hasn’t worked out so far.
“But he isn’t a bad option to bring off the bench at all, given his physical prowess and aerial threat up top, so in that respect he will be a big miss.
“This could give Will Grigg the perfect opportunity to step up and finally hit the ground running.”