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. Safc.com 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 safc.com:
“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?