Official: great coup as Wickham wanders to Sunderland not Liverpool


Salut! Sunderland
is delighted to be able to pass on OFFICIAL word that Ipswich’s England under-21 international Connor Wickham is now a Sunderland player.

Despite the reported interest of Liverpool – the club he is said to support – Steve Bruce and Niall Quinn have succeeded in persuading him that his immediate future lies at the Stadium of Light.

The reports of a £13m fee turned out to be misleading. states that Sunderland are in fact paying £8m which could rise to rise to £12m with add-ons over the course of his four-year contract.

Wickham, 18 and 6ft 3in, is viewed throughout English football as an exciting talent. His capture sends out precisely the right signals about the kind of club Sunderland has become.

Here is an edited resume from

“Wickham … was named the Football League’s Young Player of the Year for the 2010-11 season .. the player returned from international duty earlier this week after representing his country in the U21 European Championships in Denmark. (He) became Ipswich’s youngest ever player when he made his debut for the Tractor Boys aged just 16 years and 11 days.

The striker’s first full season yielded a return of six goals in 10 starts and a further 19 appearances off the bench, while he netted nine goals in 40 games last term before winning the prestigious Football League award. He also scored the winning goal for England’s under-17 side in the U17 European Championships Final last summer.”

Among countless Tweets about the move, I came across this: “Here’s a man who knows @TonyBarretTimes … Wickham was a genuine Liverpool transfer target. They refused to match Sunderland’s offer.”

Welcome to Sunderland AFC, Connor, and due plaudits to the manager and chairman. A top response to the Salut! Sunderland question posed earlier this week: can this be a week for some really big transfer news?

Monsieur Salut

24 thoughts on “Official: great coup as Wickham wanders to Sunderland not Liverpool”

  1. Ols – I suspect Bruce and his team don’t rely on t’internet and agents DVDs to assess a player! We don’t want another Milton Nunez on our hands. I assume the medical staff at the SSoL made Whickham take his platform shoes off when they measured him! :-))

  2. I can only assume that Ols is a, somewhat, jealous Mag.

    Maybe, he should view the two goals that Ipswich scored at SJP, in the final match of Newcastle’s promotion season.

    He scored one and made the other!

  3. Has anyone else watched his “highlights” on the web? Dearie, dearie me. Rather than Bergkamp or Maradona, he looks like Thomas Hauser (and this is largely against League 1 bound defenses too).

    Now in mitigation, much as I think Bruce has made a mess of the transfer strategy, he certainly has a much better eye for a player than I ever would, so he must see something in the lad. But if you haven’t watched the goals yet, I’d advise avoiding them and just waiting to see what he can do in August, or you’ll all have a depressing July.

  4. This is a no lose deal all round. Wickham will get more Premiership games under his belt at SAFC than at Liverpool.This will help him develop as player and increase in value so that if eventually we cannot match his ambitions we will sell him at a profit. If he does score a load of goals and helps us get into Europe all the better. What pleases me most however is that it sticks two fingers up to those arrogant scousers that think the worls begins and ends at LFC, as well as the press that love them so much.

  5. He’s one for the future; patience kids. Rome was not built in a day. An inspired signing. The glass is truly half full today.

  6. Arsene Wenger quoted Wickham as being the most talented England U21 player. This is a great bit of business by the club.

    I’ve watched him a few times, he’s strong, hold’s the ball up well, technically gifted and has an eye for goal.

    Given the current rates for young English players, this isn’t a bad price. If he decides to move on in the future, then I’m sure we’ll more than recoup all monies paid.

  7. this is a stupid signing as usual. He couldnt even get into the u-21 side that flopped so bad at the championships. Overpriced and overrated

  8. Man United fan here and would like to say I think Connor Wickham to Sunderland is a great deal for all involved, Sunderland will be a great place for Wickham to develop as a footballer, better for him to be playin every week than 1 or 2 sub appearence’s every 5 games, just look how much a season at Sunderland playing regular done for Danny Welbeck and Stevie Bruce is a good judge of a player Antonio Valencia, Wilson Palacios etc. Good Luck Connor! Dont take notice of “We Didn Want Him Anyway” Loserpool fans.

  9. Kable. He didn’t choose Sunderland. He had no other offers on the table so he either signed for you or stayed at Ipswich. Time will tell whether Bruce is right or Dalglish, Wenger and Redknapp who all clearly think he’s overpriced.

  10. Snipe : FYI – that was a Sunderland “fan” that selected a thumb down!! Can you Adam and Believe it?

  11. TG and Phil – I make you right. And thanks to Snipe for a refreshingly positive and intellegent post. be careful though – you’ll have your behind spanked by the negative “Martin Hating” brigade. You might be a Geordie, but your posts are welcomed by the positive minority (Me and Davey!!)

    After Henderson, we proved that through our great academy we can nurture potential full internationals – and then we sell them when they’re still only 20. That speaks volumes about our ambition to compete with the likes of Liverpool. We’ll sell Connor within 3 seasons (unless we muscle up).

    Bee-atrice – nobody expects him to come flying out the stalls, but if you’ve watched his youtube clips the boys got genuine quality. Our manager was mixing it with the big boys and he came through. despite his unreadiness, my reaction is one of rejoice! – my team have signed a great prospect. You will go and cry into your pint and cast your toxic vibes publicly!

    What are you going to say to me when you’re proved wrong about Steve Bruce? I’m curious.

  12. Given the reported interest from Liverpool I can’t help but wonder if there was a “gentleman’s agreement”, that they would not become involved, included in the Henderson deal.

  13. Not so much a coup as Liverpool refusing to match the offer. However I think he will pay dividends for the Mackems and am quite disappointed Liverpool didn’t pay the extra couple of million. Quite strange transfer strategy. Fund Sunderland’s purchase of targeted players.

  14. Saured or should I say “Sour-ed.” Liverpool’s goal scoring record last year wasn’t to good either, especially in the first half of the season when U were Sh1te. Weren’t we better then? The Bent sale crippled us.
    I have to confess, considering the clubs linked to signing him I’m very surprised he chose to come to us. Regardless he has immense potential well done SAFC., bargin of the summer so far.

  15. Connor is a Liverpool fan, so Liverpool will be in for him if he does the business in a couple of years time!!!!!

  16. “I’m sure your retort will be “Wickhams untried at Prem level – too much of a gamble. I know what you’re thinking – I’m a mind reader – right?”

    At last you have something correct Martin. Birflatt can congratulate tyou for that!

    12 goals in the Championship but a burgeoning talent. What is your point Martin? He is unproven. Let us hope that he remains “unproven” for the shortest time.

    You can’t be certain of any teenager making the step up successfully. Even if he does become successful, then it may not necessarily be this season.

  17. After supporting SUNDERLAND for fifty years. with all its ups and downs. [more downs] Things are starting to look good, With SB and the MIGHTY QUINN. Every year we look foward to the start of the season.With great expectations. So here we go again
    P.S. and im a GEORDIE RED AND WHITE.

  18. Saured’s a bitter Mersey-dweller more than just a little jealous of the outcome. Wouldn’t it be gorgeous to see Connor nutmeg Henderson to score the winning goal at Anfield in the 1st game of the season!

    As for you Negative Neville’s (Taylor and BB) – I’ve been telling you from the start that one of Bruce’s great qualities is the ability to attract great, exciting, young and experienced players respectively. Unlike any other Sunderland manager in history. He has the respect of players of all ages because of his ability to man manage. Do you note how players who have played for him before come flooding back??? I’m sure your retort will be “Wickhams untried at Prem level – too much of a gamble. I know what you’re thinking – I’m a mind reader – right?

  19. Well said Suared – coming from a supporter of a team that has paid 35m for Andy Carrol and 20m for Henderson ; 8m plus add ons for Wickham has to be a great piece of bargaining from Quinn and Bruce ; sour grapes methinks

  20. amazing news. I thought he would hold out a little for an arsenal or liverpool offer.
    good coup. well done Bruce/Quinn.
    lot of potential bought there, and good business sense.

    Is Bruce going to start wickham? Wickham can play on the wing too although centre forward is probably more natural for him.

    If we get Gibson, Larsson and Gardner, I think we’ll be seeing more goals from midfield next season. Colback also has the ability to snatch a goal or two as he proved at ipswich.
    Question is, (after we get Ngog (if we do)) do we splash more cash on that big name forward now, or look at strengthening our back four? Our defence needs attention too.

  21. Hold on Suared, give the lad a chance, remember a former Sunderland player, most unlikely to succeed, Kevin Phillips I believe his name was….?

  22. he will be a good buy but we do need another striker ngog will be good if he ever comes wasnt given the right team with liverpool he will suit our style off play more also worrying is no defenders in yet we need at least a right & centre back but a big name coming in will be the brucie bonus

  23. Really stupid of Sunderland! He would have bee the 4th-5th forward at Liverpool and had time to grow and learn! He’s not ready for full time play and will not score the goals needed to keep Sunderland in the PL.

    You struggled for goals last year and this year could be worse!

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