At the time of writing, Sunderland’s top scorer this season is Charlie Wyke with 27 goals in all competitions, the striker is only eight goals away from equalling Kevin Phillips’ record of 30 league goals in a single season, the most goals that any Sunderland player has scored in a single season, which saw him win the European Golden Shoe in 1999/2000.
If somebody told me that Wyke would be at the tally he is at the start of the season I would have laughed at them, but he deserves all the praise he’s getting this season as it’s hard to say where Lee Johnson’s side would be without the strikers' goals.
Charlie signed for Sunderland from Bradford City in 2018 for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £600,000, the striker was injured when he arrived and apart from a goal against Oxford United early in Jack Ross’ tenure at the club, Wyke struggled to make an impact.
At one point, I remember people comparing Wyke to James Vaughan and although the comparisons were hard to argue with at the time, Sunderland chose to keep the striker on the wage bill rather than part ways in what would have been a dismal spell at the club, much like Vaughan’s spell in the Championship. Fast forward three years and Sunderland’s L1 record signing Will Grigg is on loan at MK Dons and Wyke is in the form of his life under Lee Johnson. I think many fans are just wondering how LJ has managed to get the striker firing on such a consistent basis, but if his Bradford City numbers are anything to go by, it just goes to show that confidence is everything for a striker.
Lee Johnson could have thrown Wyke under the bus and opted to start either Will Grigg or Danny Graham, whose goalscoring numbers were flattering to deceive. With the striker out of contract in the summer and depending on which league Sunderland are playing in next season, it is vital that Wyke’s future is one of the first to be decided.
I would love for Wyke to guide Sunderland to promotion on the back of a Golden Boot winning campaign and with lots of fixtures to come, Wyke could still notch the goals needed for his personal tally but more crucially to strengthen Sunderland’s title chances.