Sunderland star Wickham showing why the big boys wanted him

Connor Wickham is finally coming good at Sunderland after a difficult start to his Black Cats career.

In June 2011 Sunderland pulled off something of a coup - bringing in Ipswich Town youngster Connor Wickham in a package deal worth around £13 million.

The teenager had been on the radar of many top clubs ever since he scored the winning goal for England in a European under-17 Championship final win against Spain. Indeed when Sunderland snapped him up it was said they beat Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs to his signature.

But since then it has been a struggle for the lad.

He never really secured himself a place in the Black Cats side and has experienced his best moments for the club whilst out on loan. 

But in desperation rather than choice Sunderland boss Gus Poyet turned to Wickham in his hour of need as Steven Fletcher was out injured, Danny Graham unfancied and Jozy Altidore misfiring.

Wickham arrived and sceptical Sunderland fans were dubious over his potential to reinvent their fortunes - I mean, he had failed in his last loan spell at Leeds United.

But he had showed form at Sheffield Wednesday - and those are the performances he has taken back to the Stadium of Light.

He has been incredible recently and he certainly looks the part as well.

Built like a body-builder with the height to match he is certainly putting Paolo Di Canio’s infamous ‘male model’ claims to the test.

But now he is matching his impressive look with impressive form. Just look at his stats compared with the other front-line strikers, who have played more minutes than him, at Sunderland this season:

  GoalsOntarget Scoring AttAppsMins
Connor Wickham 5 9 12 632
Steven Fletcher 3 9 20 1,223
Jozy Altidore 1 12 28 1,716

He has played just a fraction of the minutes Altidore and Fletcher have yet has scored more Premier League goals than the two of them combined - a rather sensational achievement.

His goals against Manchester City, Chelsea and Cardiff have gone a long way toward making the ‘miracle’ happen on Wearside - and if Sunderland stay up expect a lot more from him next season. 

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