Sunderland legend believes free agent ex-Wimbledon striker Joe Pigott could become 'hero' on Wearside if he replaces Charlie Wyke
Sunderland-linked Joe Pigott has been backed to fill the boots of Charlie Wyke, should the 31-goal striker move on as expected this summer.
Pigott is a man in demand this summer having left AFC Wimbledon following the expiration of his contract.
The striker netted 54 goals in 157 games during his time with the Dons and has frequently been linked with a move up the pyramid during his time in London.
And now a free agent, the 27-year-old is drawing admiring glances from both the Championship and League One.
Wyke, meanwhile, is out of contract this summer at Sunderland and as previously reported by the Echo, he is expected to move on.
Celtic are interested, with several Championship clubs also keeping tabs on Sunderland’s 31-goal top scorer from last season.
Sunderland legend Phillips, when asked about Pigott, told Football Insider: “His stats speak for themselves.
“A record of nearly one in two is a great strike rate.
“My only worry is, coming from Wimbledon, can he handle the pressure of playing for Sunderland. No disrespect to Wimbledon but Sunderland is a big step up.
“I haven’t seen too much of Pigott but the lad can score goals, that is clear.
“He could be the man to replace Charlie Wyke next season because it looks as if he will be moving on.
“If Lee can get Pigott in and he scores a lot of goals for Sunderland he will be a hero straight away.”
Speaking at his unveiling, new Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has vowed to bring a new perspective to the Hoops.
The 55-year-old Australian has taken over at Parkhead, four months after his predecessor Neil Lennon departed.
Speaking at his first press conference, Postecoglou said: “I guess what I bring is maybe a different perspective.
“I’ve had a different journey from many others. Most of my career has been spent on the other side of the world and in internationals.
“Every team I’ve coached has had a very clear identity.
“I think that was one of the reasons I was chosen. In my 25 years in coaching, my teams have always played a certain way.”
Pundits have estimated Celtic could bring in up to 15 new players this summer.
On the rebuild required, Postecoglou said: “It’s fairly extensive. It is a season of change. But after a period of success and what happened last year, it was always going to be a period of change.
“But I see it is an opportunity to make changes in the direction I want.
“We’re working very hard but with the players we have existing, they will all be treated on merit. For the ones coming in, we’ll bring in ones who will fit.”