Report: Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham being chased by Northern Ireland

Sunderland Inc Wickham

The former Sunderland man is still one of the Premier League's most promising young strikers, but hasn't featured for England at any level since 2013.

According to a report in the Mail, Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham has been asked by Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill to consider choosing the Green and White Army over England, despite the forward having been a major star at youth levels for the Three Lions.

O'Neill has taken Northern Ireland to the brink of qualification for Euro 2016 in France, with the Irish side top of Group F and needing a victory against Greece in October to be assured of a place, though they are already guaranteed a playoff spot at the very least.

And the former Shamrock Rovers boss feels he would be able to recruit some high profile players into the setup if Northern Ireland make the tournament, says the Mail, with the 46-year-old eager to make Wickham, who scored six times in seventeen Under-21 caps and helped the Under-17 side win the European Championships in 2010, a main man considering he qualifies through his father.

Wickham completed a big money move to Selhurst Park this summer after spending four years on Wearside. The 22-year-old moved to Sunderland having displayed huge potential at boyhood club Ipswich Town, as well as with the England youth sides, but for the most part Wickham has struggled to demonstrate that quality while with the Black Cats.

However, the forward did catch the eye with a sensational spell of form late in the 2013/2014 season, scoring five goals and assisting Seb Larsson's winner at Old Trafford as Sunderland defied the odds to secure Premier League safety.

That hinted at a big couple of years for Wickham last season, but as the Black Cats struggled to safety once again, the youngster again found it difficult to make an impression, often being deployed in wide areas. The Eagles paid £6 million to bring him to London in August, with the Mirror saying it could go on to earn Sunderland as much as £9.5 million depending on bonus payments.

He has played the full 90 minutes in two of Palace's last three matches, only missing the win over Aston Villa because of injury.

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