The ex-Sunderland reunion which has formed at Wigan Athletic and adds an intriguing narrative to League One opener
An ex-Sunderland reunion has formed at Wigan Athletic this summer – with three former Black Cats players moving to the DW Stadium.
It was announced this week that Jordan Jones has joined up with Charlie Wyke and Max Power in the North West, with the trio set to return to Wearside this weekend.
The fact that Sunderland will host the Latics on the opening day of the season on Saturday adds an intriguing narrative to the League One fixture.
Wigan have signed nine new players this summer and, along with Sunderland, will have aspirations to challenge for promotion from the third tier.
Leam Richardson’s side were playing catch up from the end of the 2020/21 campaign, though, following their 20th-place finish as well as a change of ownership and off-field troubles.
Results in pre-season have been encouraging, with Wigan recording five straight wins, including victories over Championship sides Stoke and Preston.
Power and Wyke have each started three of the side’s six pre-season matches and look set to be regular starters for the upcoming campaign.
But despite scoring 30 times in all competitions for Sunderland last season, Wyke hasn't found the net for his new side during the friendly matches.
If the 28-year-old can get near last year’s figure, though, it would suggest Wigan are at least pushing for a play-off place.
After several conversations with Richardson, the Wigan move was sold to Wyke and the striker says the club can get the best out of him.
When the deal was announced, Wyke told Wigan’s official website: “From the day I met the manager, I knew this was the club I wanted to play for.
"The way he sold the club to me, he showed me a presentation of how strikers had done in the past, and how he could get the best out of me, and I thought this was the best place for my career going forward.”
Sunderland fans will hope they can keep their former players quiet on Saturday afternoon, while their performances over the course of the season will be interesting to keep an eye on.