GUS Poyet hopes 21-year-old Connor Wickham will continue to come of age in Sunderland’s Premier League survival battle.
And the Black Cats’ boss would love to see the England Under-21 international underpin his progress by scoring against Cardiff City in tomorrow’s relegation six-pointer at the Stadium of Light.
“It goes without saying how important Connor’s goals against Manchester City and Chelsea were for us,” Poyet told the Football Echo.
“But there’s no reason why he cannot score more for us in these remaining games – he has all the tools to do the job and I think he is beginning to realise his own potential.
“I’ve probably talked more to him this week than in any other – that’s a coincidence – I haven’t suddenly started talking to him because he has scored goals.
“But it maybe shows how important he is to us right now, how much he has to absorb and what an influence he can be.”
Poyet says it is easy to overlook because of Wickham’s profile and price tag how young he still is.
But the Uruguayan believes that the young striker could be on the verge of embarking on the destiny first marked out for him as a raw 16-year-old at Ipswich Town.
Poyet said: “He has been a strange signing for Sunderland because the club invested an awful lot of money in potential rather than proven ability.
“That is something that only the really big clubs tend to do – buy a big talent and then wait several seasons for him to develop.
“The type of club we are, if we spend big money we need a player to make an immediate impact.
“But maybe we’re about to benefit from that investment because Connor is now showing signs of putting everything together as everyone first hoped.
“On his game, he is a problem to any defender and even if he does not score himself, he can create the space and opportunities for others to capitalise on.”
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