Sunderland must move to tie Charlie Wyke down to a new contract with the club, according to former player Stephen Elliott.
The striker is enjoying his best season by some distance for the Black Cats after scoring 17 goals in all competitions for the club this season.
Like many players, Wyke is out of contract in the summer which means that he’s already able to discuss terms with clubs outside of England over a pre-contract agreement, while clubs in England will able to speak to him in June over a free transfer.
Given his value to the team it’s unlikely that Sunderland will want to lose the player for nothing, and according to Elliott, that’s why it’s essential that they look to get him tied down to a new deal sooner rather than later.
Writing for the Sunderland Echo, Elliott said: “He (Charlie Wyke) looks like he now believes he belongs at the club.
“I know Charlie as a lad due to our paths crossing briefly at Carlisle at the start of his career, so I know first-hand how much he puts everything into being the best he can be, every day.
“It’s great to see his effort paying off now in a red and white shirt.
“What I would stress is, now he is such a key player for the club, it would be very wise to tie him up to a new deal as there is no doubt would-be suitors will have taken notice of this form.
“One thing Sunderland have struggled with since Josh Maja left is to have a regular goal scorer.
“Surely the club won’t let something similar happen again.”
Quiz: Were each of these 20 former Sunderland players left or right footed?
This should be a no-brainer for Sunderland.
Charlie Wyke has really found his feet this season and is looking like exactly the sort of players that the Black Cats had hoped for when they signed him from Bradford City.
If he can continue to show this sort of form it’s only a matter of time before clubs in the Championship come knocking and that’s why the Wearsiders need to secure their asset for the long-term.