Sunderland manager "95%" certain Charlie Wyke will leave after Celtic link

By David Walton

July 4, 2021

Sunderland manager Lee Johnson has stated that he’s 95% certain that Charlie Wyke won’t be returning to the club after being linked with Celtic.

The Northern Echo reported last month that the Hoops were increasingly confident about getting a deal done for Wyke. With the player now a free agent, he can be snapped up for nothing. That could easily be attractive to Celtic given they still need reinforcements in attack.

Wyke has just come off a prolific campaign in League One for the Black Cats. The Englishman bagged 30 goals in 53 appearances on Wearside last term [Transfermarkt]. As of yet, however, there’s been nothing official on the potential deal.

But Johnson has given a key indicator that Wyke is indeed on his way. As quoted by the Chronicle, the League One boss said the following: “I would say the door is ajar, but we’re certainly not expecting him to come back.

“I’d say that it would be him coming back to us and saying he wants to talk again, effectively. My gut says that he will move on, I’d say 95 percent that he’ll move on. But we would leave the door ajar because at the moment, you never know.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

“There’s a lot of people talking in the Championship but who aren’t in a great place in terms of being able to commit to players financially. They seem to have been hit the hardest and in some cases, it’s the League One clubs who seem to be the largest spenders.”

Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke would have a lot to prove at Celtic

Should the Sunderland striker sign for Celtic, there would be plenty of questions he would need to answer. There are huge doubts from the Celtic supporters regarding the player’s ability.

You can see where that pessimism comes from too. It’s not as if Wyke has had a history of success down in the English lower leagues. In 2019/20 he only bagged six goals in 30 games [Transfermarkt]. The season beforehand? Five goals in the same number of fixtures.

His previous clubs include the likes of Carlisle United, Bradford City, Hartlepool, AFC Wimbledon, and Kettering Town. It’s hardly a list of clubs that make you believe Wyke can produce at the level Celtic want to operate at next season.

Charlie Wyke celebrates a Sunderland goal / (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Interestingly, however, 16 of Wyke’s goals came via headers last season. At the very least, Celtic would be getting a striker in for nothing who can offer them an improvement in that department. But whether he can keep up to speed with Postecoglou’s fast, attacking football is a major doubt.

As for Johnson’s comments, it’s clear he’s off, but it’s not quite certain where. It’s interesting to note that he mentions Championship clubs after discussing Wyke. Almost as if those are the clubs who are mainly targeting the player despite the speculation.

All will need to be revealed soon of course. Celtic need bodies in for the UEFA Champions League qualifier vs Midtjylland, whilst the striker needs a club. This is a matter which should be resolved soon.

In other news, a former Celtic scout has provided a worrying claim about how the Hoops develop youngsters.