Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke has revealed that Middlesbrough playmaker Juninho was his idol growing up, a claim that may prove controversial among fans of his current club.
The 27-year-old has been a key man under Phil Parkinson and has led the line for the Black Cats whenever he has been fit.
His goal return, five in 27 League One games, has not been fantastic but his build-up play and work off the ball have been really useful in their promotion push.
Sunderland sit just outside the play-off places as things stand but have seen their season put on hold as all EFL games have been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To help keep fans entertained during the delay, Wyke took to Twitter yesterday to do a Q&A.
The Sunderland striker was asked who his idol was growing up and provided a rather controversial answer.
Wyke said: “Well I had a Middlesbrough season ticket when I was younger. I used to go to the games and my favourite player was always Juninho, so I’d have to go with him.”
The Brazilian playmaker was a sensational player for Boro and a real joy to watch – making 134 appearances and scoring 31 goals in two different spells with the club.
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Without wanting to be too harsh on the physical Sunderland forward, it’s difficult to see too many similarities between him and his childhood idol.
Juninho was fantastic and it is no surprise that he captured the imagination of Wyke as a child, however, given the fierce rivalry between the two North East sides, this could prove a controversial claim from the Black Cats striker.
If the 29-year-old can fire Sunderland back into the Championship when the season resumes, I’m sure all will be forgiven.