Kevin Phillips claims Ross Stewart is "better than Charlie Wyke" and compares him to ex-Sunderland star

Kevin Phillips has hailed Sunderland striker Ross Stewart ahead of the Black Cats’ clash with Charlton Athletic.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 9:26 am
Ross Stewart celebrates his second goal. Safc 5-0 Ctfc Efl1 28-09-2021 Stadium of Light. Picture by Frank Reid

Ross Stewart scored his eighth and nineth goals of the League One campaign as Sunderland thrashed Crewe Alexandra 4-0 on Tuesday night.

Stewart – nicknamed ‘Loch Ness Drogba’ – has been exceptional in the Black Cats’ opening 12 fixtures and Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips had plenty of praise for the Scotsman.

Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips said: “Stewart is better than Charlie Wyke.

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“[He] is turning out to be an excellent signing for Sunderland. I’m a big fan. He is going to be their top scorer this season.

“Every time I watch him he impresses me. He is only going to get better and better.”

Stewart joined the Wearside club in January of this year but failed to secure himself a starting spot ahead of the high-flying Wyke. However, once the former Bradford City striker secured a move to Wigan Athletic in the summer, Stewart took his place and hasn’t looked back since.

Phillips added: “He reminds me of Quinny. Quinny was able to rise and find the player. His timing was brilliant and so is Stewart’s.

“I watched the game against Crewe and I thought Sunderland were magnificent. There was only ever going to be one winner. Defensively Crewe were terrible but that coincides with the great movement from Sunderland. They got in between the lines time and time again."

Phillips and Niall Quinn formed a formidable partnership during their years together at the Stadium of Light between 1997 and 2003 – scoring almost 200 goals between them.

If Stewart keeps up his brilliant form this campaign, the 25-year-old could beat Phillips’ record of 30 league goals in a season, albeit in League One rather than the Premier League.

His superb start to the 2021/22 season has seen Lee Johnson claim he has the potential to play in the top tier and the Black Cats will have no doubt Stewart can replicate his form if they are to win promotion to the Championship at the fourth time of asking.