Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Celtic Leading The Race For This In-Demand Sunderland Ace: Why They Must Secure His Services

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Pratyay Maitra
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If the latest report from The Northern Echo is believed to be true, Celtic are closing in on Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke. The Black Cats have offered him a new contract to extend his stay beyond this summer, but the Englishman is likely to move north of the border on a Bosman transfer.

The 28-year-old centre-forward failed to break into the senior ranks of his boyhood club Middlesbrough and was eventually offloaded to Carlisle United after a few unsuccessful loan stints in the lower leagues of the English pyramid. He, however, gained some fame for the Cumbrians in League Two and was roped in by Bradford City to lead their line on the winter deadline of 2017.

Wyke was an immediate success for the Bantams and his scoring traits earned him a £400,000 move to League One rivals Sunderland. The Wearsiders were determined to secure an immediate promotion after dropping to third-tier, but the ‘number 9’ failed to exhibit his scoring traits with just 11 goals in 60 appearances over the first two campaigns for the Red and Whites.

While the once-prestigious English side are still stuck in League One, Wyke’s form witnessed a massive upsurge last season with 30 goals in 53 appearances across competitions. The free-scoring forward is now a man in demand and an array of Championship outfits have registered their interest in him, more so because his contract is about to expire in a few days time.

Celtic target Charlie Wyke in action for Sunderland
Football – 2020 / 2021 Sky Bet League One – Play-offs – Semi-final, second leg – Sunderland vs Lincoln City – Stadium of Light Charlie Wyke of Sunderland looks dejected at full time PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK

Why Celtic Must Step Up The Chase And Secure His Services

The Hoops, meanwhile, have finally appointed someone for their vacant managerial role. Ange Postecoglou is not the most familiar name in the European circuit, but his profile and brand of football might restore the stability at Parkhead a lot quicker than predicted. Having said that, the club must undergo a phase of transition and the conundrum high up the pitch requires immediate attention with multiple key exits on the cards.

Although a potential Leicester City move seems to have collapsed, Odsonne Edouard might still ply his trade elsewhere having entered the final year of his Celtic contract. The future is uncertain for Leigh Griffiths amid rumours of a return to Hibernian, also the Bhoys are willing to listen to offers for Ryan Christie who is keen on a fresh challenge abroad.

A major shake-up is essential in the attacking third and Celtic, therefore, must step up the chase for Charlie Wyke who has proved his worth time and again as a ‘target man’. A few more signings should be pursued as well to bolster the set-up, but the addition of the Sunderland star would be a no-brainer given the current circumstances at Celtic Park.

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