By Kevin Phillips

6th Aug, 2021 | 8:00am

Phillips reveals 'massive concern' for Sunderland pre-Wigan

Kevin Phillips has claimed “it is a massive concern” Sunderland have not replaced Charlie Wyke yet.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend suggested Lee Johnson’s side need to sign a proven League One goalscorer to gain promotion this season.

The Black Cats have three senior strikers in Ross Stewart, Aiden O’Brien and Will Grigg.

However, the future of the latter is uncertain heading into the season opener against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

Sunderland’s 2020-21 top scorer Charlie Wyke left the club to join the Latics at the expiration of his contract this summer and a replacement is yet to be signed.

When asked by Football Insider if he was worried about Johnson’s striking options, Phillips said: “It’s a massive concern.

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“I’ve spoke to a few Sunderland fans and they are quite glad Wyke has left the football club.

“But to lose that amount of goals from your side and not to replace them is a big risk. If it wasn’t for Wyke last season they would not have even made the play-offs.

“Lee Johnson will hope players chip in with goals from other areas but that is always hard.

“The lack of strikers is concerning for me heading into the first game of the season this weekend. To go into the season with no striker who has experience of scoring goals in that league is a worry.”

In other news, Phillips tips Sunderland to make a signing this week after a transfer twist.