Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has claimed that Charlie Wyke’s move to Wigan Athletic this summer, was down to the contract he was offered by the Latics.
Wyke enjoyed an outstanding campaign for Sunderland last season, scoring 31 goals in all competitions for the club, although he was unable to guide them to promotion from League One, after defeat to Lincoln in the play-off semi finals.
With his contract at The Stadium of Light expiring this summer, Wyke was offered a new deal with the Black Cats, one that he ultimately turned down.
The 28-year-old was linked with the likes of Championship quartet Cardiff, Millwall, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough, as well as Scottish giants Celtic, following his departure from The Stadium of Light.
Ultimately though, Wyke has signed a three-year deal with Wigan, who finished just one place and one point above the League One relegation zone last season.
Now it seems as though that move to The DW Stadium, caught Phillips rather off-guard, although he accepts Wyke’s decision in making the move.
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Giving his reaction to Wigan’s signing of Wyke, the Sunderland legend told Football Insider: “It’s is strange, I was very surprised by that. The contract is a lot better than what he was offered at Sunderland. I can only think that’s the reason.
“Only the player can give you the real reason but it’s a strange one, Considering the clubs he was linked with.
“I know what it’s like to play at Sunderland when the crowd’s in there, it’s surprising. But you have to give him the respect and wish him all the best. It’s a big loss.”
I do agree with Phillips that Wyke’s move to Wigan is something of a surprise.
There were plenty of clubs currently further up the pyramid seemingly interested in him, and given that would have made them more appealing from a football perspective, you do feel as though Phillips may be right when he says this move may be down to a better contract offer from Wigan.
However, you can’t really blame Wyke if that is the case, given football players only have short careers, so he needs to earn what he can in that brief time on the pitch to help set him up for after his playing days.
Indeed, when you look at the quality of signing Wigan have brought in already this summer, you would expect them to be in a much stronger position in League One this season.
As a result, this move may prove a smart one for Wyke, in more than one way.