Celtic can surely do better than Charlie Wyke; he's no Hooper or Toney

By John McGinley

June 14, 2021

Charlie Wyke is the latest player to be heavily linked with a move to Celtic.

As we discussed earlier, reports local to Sunderland suggest that the Bhoys are increasingly confident of signing the 28-year-old after an impressive season with the Black Cats.

It’s said that Celtic are preparing a formal contract offer, with Wyke’s deal at the Stadium of Light expiring at the end of the month.

When you consider the form of Wyke last term he looks like an exciting potential signing, at first glance. Throughout the 2020/21 campaign, he netted 30 goals from 53 appearances in all competitions. Not a bad return at all. [Transfermarkt]

After coming so close to signing Ivan Toney last summer, you can understand why Celtic might be interested in an English League One strike rate like that.

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But Wyke is no Toney.

For starters, he’s a fair bit older. He’s not a talent that Celtic are uncovering to improve to a European level and eventually sell on. The Bhoys would have been signing the Brentford star at the age of 24. Toney was obviously on the verge of bursting onto a bigger stage, with the potential to improve further.

Secondly, the season Wyke has had appears to be a one-off in his career. He’s only scored more than 20 goals in a single season once before now. He’s also never played above League One level. [Transfermarkt]

You may be thinking, “Well what about Gary Hooper? This guy could be the new Gary Hooper.” The comparison doesn’t apply again. Hooper was 22 when he joined Celtic and had scored 19 goals in the Championship the season prior. A literal level above.

Celtic target Charlie Wyke / (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

I could be completely wrong here. And out of order. Wyke isn’t all about goals – he possesses a physical presence that Celtic don’t really have right now. He could have something to offer the Bhoys in a squad capacity, or as a plan B.

Every player who signs for the club gets a chance, in my book.

However, he’s never in a million years a replacement for Odsonne Edouard. Or Leigh Griffiths. Or Albian Ajeti. Not for me.

Supporters aren’t particularly impressed either, taking to social media to share their thoughts on the journeyman forward…

In other news, Harry Kewell’s verdict on Ange Postecoglou to Celtic.