Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, Sam Allardyce has explained why he attempted to sign Connor Wickham for West Ham last summer, after the young striker had helped the Black Cats to Premier League survival.
Allardyce said: “It was the start of last season when we couldn’t persuade Sunderland to sell him. He was obviously too precious for them to let him go and we went elsewhere in the end. But he was someone we were interested in signing, yes. I call him a Kevin Davies Mk2. He’s got all the raw tools.”
Allardyce confirmed the interest in signing him for West Ham, calling Wickham a ‘Kevin Davies Mk2’. This sort of English target man striker is perfect for Allardyce, and Davies enjoyed the best spell of his career after being signed by Bolton under Allardyce.
At West Ham, Allardyce attempted to build a system with Andy Carroll as his main target man, but Carroll’s injury record meant there was never any consistency in his selection.
Thus, Allardyce wanted to bring in Wickham, but Sunderland refused to let him go last summer due to his importance to the team.
He had just scored five goals towards the end of the season to keep the Black Cats in the top flight, and he signed a new contract to keep him at the Stadium of Light.
However, he failed to impress last term, and Sunderland were willing to sanction his departure this summer, selling him to Crystal Palace where he has enjoyed a good, but injury hit, start to his career.