FORMER England Under-21 striker Connor Wickham is hoping a move back south will herald a return to form after he joined Crystal Palace from Sunderland in a deal worth up to £9m yesterday.
Palace have agreed to pay an initial £7m for the 22-year-old, who scored 15 goals in 91 appearances for the Black Cats, with the fee rising depending on how he performs at Selhurst Park. Wickham cost £8m when he moved to the north-east from Ipswich aged 18 but showed only glimpses of the promise that saw him become the Tractor Boys’ youngest ever player, at 16.
“I needed the fresh start,” he said. “I had four years up north and it’s been a bit stop-start. Now I’ve come back home I can settle down and see my family more and hopefully let my football do the talking.”
Wickham is Palace’s fourth summer signing, after goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, midfielder Yohan Cabaye and on-loan forward Patrick Bamford. He added: “I looked at the team, the signings that have been brought in. The potential to score goals and the chances that could be created were a massive influence.”