Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips on Charlie Wyke's 'strange' move to Wigan Athletic
Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips has reacted to Charlie Wyke’s move to Wigan Athletic – admitting it seems a ‘strange’ move.
The frontman, who netted 31 times for the Black Cats last season, announced his departure from the Stadium of Light on Tuesday – despite Sunderland’s desire to keep their top scorer on Wearside.
He has signed a three-year deal with Wigan, amid reports he is on £10,000 a week.
“It is strange, I was very surprised by that,” Phillips told Football Insider.
“The contract is a lot better than what he was offered at Sunderland. I can only think that’s the reason.
“Only the player can give you the real reason but it’s a strange one, Considering the clubs he was linked with.
“I know what it’s like to play at Sunderland when the crowd’s in there, it’s surprising.
“But you have to give him the respect and wish him all the best. It’s a big loss.”
Wyke joined the club from Bradford City in 2018 and after two stop-start campaigns enjoyed a fine 2020/21 campaign, which naturally prompted interest from elsewere.
Championship sides Nottingham Forest, Millwall and Middlesbrough were all linked with summer moves while Scottish giants Celtic were also credited with an interest.
But Wyke will now continue his career at the DW Stadium, joining former Sunderland skipper Max Power in the North West.
Wigan are one of League One’s big spenders this summer and look set to be serious promotion contenders following their Bahrain-backed takeover earlier this season.
And indeed, Wyke said the ambition shown by the club and manager Leam Richardson was a key reason why he opted to join the Latics.
Speaking to Wigan’s official website, the striker said: “I’m delighted. I’ve been speaking to the Club for a few weeks and from the day I met the manager, I knew this was the Club I wanted to play for.
"The way he (Richardson) sold the club to me, and how he said he could get the best out of me, I thought this was the best place for my career going forward.
"The Club ticks all the boxes in terms of how they want to play, the Stadium and the fans. I can’t wait to get started now and hopefully it’s a long, successful spell for me."