Crystal Palace sign Connor Wickham from Sunderland for $14 million


Crystal Palace have continued to splash the cash and the Eagles have signed striker Connor Wickham from Sunderland on a five-year deal.

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Wickham, 22, makes the switch to Selhurst Park for a transfer fee believed to be in the region of $14 million.

The former England U-21 international has spent the past four seasons at the Stadium of Light after Sunderland bought Wickham from Ipswich Town as a 18-year-old in 2011 for $16 million.

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Speaking about his move to Palace’s website, Wickham is hopeful of becoming more prolific.

“I spoke to the gaffer last week and he said all the right things about the club and I’ve got friends here who also told me some very good things,” Wickham said. “I looked at the team before I arrived here and the signings that have been brought in, and the potential to score goals and the chances that could be created was a massive influence. Hopefully I can add to that talent and make the squad stronger.”

Despite his physical frame and tireless running, Wickham has scored just 15 goals in 91 appearances for the Black Cats as his finishing is the main area which needs improving. The young striker has spent time on loan in the Championship at both Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United in the past, but it seems like he will finally get the chance to be a regular in the PL in his preferred position as central striker. At Sunderland he was often shunted out to the wing during recent seasons as Steven Fletcher, Jozy Altidore and Jermain Defoe took up the central role, but at Palace he should be first-choice center forward.

With striker Patrick Bamford arriving on loan from Chelsea, midfielder Yohan Cabaye joining for a club record $20 million and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy also signing for the Eagles this summer, Alan Pardew has strengthened the spine of his time considerably and the south London club all of a sudden have plenty of options. With Yannick Bolasie, Jason Puncheon, Cabaye and Wilfried Zaha the chief creators in midfield, Wickham will have the opportunity to stay up top and lead the line in Palace’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.