Rowell Report: Will Wickham have to leave Sunderland like Ally?

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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CONNOR Wickham has been receiving some good reports after scoring a few goals for Sheffield Wednesday during his loan spell.

He has got four goals in six games for the Owls and if he continues in that form, no doubt they will want to extend his loan beyond January.

Wickham came to Sunderland with a huge price tag on his head, which I think weighed heavily on him and it’s easy to forget he’s still only 20.

His career at Sunderland has never taken off, often he’s been injured and he’s never really had a consecutive run of games in the team.

His situation remains me of when Sunderland signed Ally McCoist in the 1980s for what was then a massive transfer fee of £400,000.

Like Wickham, he found it difficult to justify the huge investment.

Ally was still a teenager when he arrived, just like Wickham, but when you’re at the centre of a big transfer fee, your age tends to be forgotten and you’re expected to fit in straightaway.

The lads in the dressing room knew how good Ally was, we saw what he could do in training and he was very popular.

But it didn’t happen for him often enough on a Saturday afternoon and in the end he had to leave to fulfil his potential.

I wasn’t surprised when he went back to Scotland and scored a huge amount of goals for Rangers, but no-one could predict he would become a club legend and eventually the manager.

I’m wondering if Wickham, after his loan spell at Wednesday, could ultimately succeed at Sunderland, or whether he will have to leave to fulfil his potential.