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Sunderland call could come back to haunt them if Birmingham City return for Wigan Athletic star

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It appears that Sunderland AFC will have a very dismal 2023–24 Championship season.

Though the Black Cats’ chances of making the playoffs had long since faded, there remained hope that, with interim manager Mike Dodds in place, they could finish the season strongly.

This summer appears to be critical, as many fans are displeased with the club’s current situation following Blackburn Rovers’ 5-1 thrashing.

With certain players at the club underwhelming this season, Sunderland will probably need to make changes to their roster in addition to hiring a new manager.

The summer transfer market is quickly approaching, and a rumor that has surfaced recently suggests that Sunderland may try to sign goalkeeper Sam Tickle from Wigan Athletic, however they may have fierce competition.

Sunderland keeping an eye on Wigan’s Sam Tickle

Sam Tickle Wigan Athletic

Journalist Alan Nixon said last weekend that Sunderland is monitoring goalkeeper Sam Tickle of Wigan Athletic.

Anthony Patterson is the Black Cats’ current number one goalkeeper, but it appears the team is considering alternatives in case Patterson’s worth is matched this summer.

Tickle has therefore caught their attention after making an impression in his breakthrough season with the League One team.

Although reports from January stated that Preston and Birmingham City were also interested in the player, neither team was able to make a move.

It is obviously unknown at this point whether the Blues are still interested in the Latics shot stopper, but if they are, Sundland’s choice about Tony Mowbray from earlier in the season may come back to bite them.

Sunderland’s Tony Mowbray decision could haunt them in the race for Sam Tickle

Tony Mowbray Birmingham City

Sam Tickle of Wigan appears to be a player who will be in high demand come summertime, as he keeps up his impressive play for a Latics team that has had to concentrate on staying in the third division.

The goalkeeper, who is 22 years old and a graduate of Wigan’s academy, has had to wait his turn in the first squad; the 2023–24 season is his breakthrough year.

Playing in all 41 League One games, the rookie goalkeeper has been outstanding for Wigan and is perhaps their greatest player this season.

Sam Tickle’s 2023/24 League One stats for Wigan Athletic Total
Matches played 41
Goals conceded 52
Goals conceded per game 1.3
Saves made 117
Saves made per game 2.9 (69%)
Penalties saved 0/5
Touches 41.0
Passing accuracy per game 19.0 (63%)
Average rating 6.99
Stats as per Sofascore.com

According to Sofascore.com, Tickle has made an amazing 2.9 saves per game over those games, and he has only given up 1.3 goals on average.

According to Sofascore.com, the goalie has made 117 saves this season, which has helped him maintain 13 clean sheets in the league thus far. He has also not made an error that has resulted in a goal.

For this reason, it makes perfect sense that teams are beginning to notice Tickle’s performance at Wigan. It is also likely that more teams than only Birmingham and Sunderland will be interested in Tickle.

The Black Cats and the Blues won’t have much of an advantage over Premier League sides who very likely have their eyes set on the shot stopper.


Sunderland is now looking for Michael Beale’s long-term replacement.

Though Birmingham now have their old manager, Tony Mowbray, in charge, who is known for nurturing young players, Sunderland will hope to have the advantage over Birmingham.

The Black Cats’ ability to sign a number of young players, as they have in recent seasons, was largely due to Mowbray. While Sunderland will hope that youngsters like Jobe Bellingham, Tra Hume, and Anthony Patterson will persuade others to join, Birmingham might suddenly have a stronger hand. The seasoned manager developed these players.

Having let go of Mowbray earlier in the season, the Wearsiders may have an advantage over Birmingham in their pursuit of a player similar to Tickle. Thus, it may be another instance when Sunderland’s choice to let the manager go back to haunt them if they do not sign the goalie to Birmingham.

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