Former £9m Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday striker bags Preston North End move

Connor Wickham has signed a deal with Preston North End.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 5:54 pm

The Championship outfit had been looking at the striker on a trial basis.

The 28-year-old was released by Crystal Palace at the end of last season and has been training with North End for more than a fortnight.

But Wickham has now penned a short-term deal until January 13th and has been added to the squad which is registered with the EFL.

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SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Connor Wickham of Sunderland and Joey Barton of QPR battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers at Stadium of Light on February 10, 2015 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Indeed, he will be in contention for North End's clash with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Tuesday evening.

After signing the deal, Wickham said: "It’s taken a little bit longer than I would have liked, having been around when the boys have been involved in games and watching their preparation and not being able to prepare the same way as what they are.

“But I’m just happy that it’s done now and I can kind of put that behind me and start to look to the future now.

"I was thankful that the club gave me the opportunity to come in in the first place and train and get my fitness back.

"I sat down and had a good few chats with the manager over the course of the three weeks and I feel like we’re going to be in a good place mutually that I’ve got to prove and show the right to get in the team, but hopefully it’s going to work out well."

The player enjoyed a four campaign stint at the Stadium of Light – with loans at Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday in between – following an £8m move from Ipswich Town back in 2011.

The fee broke Ipswich's record for transfer fees recouped, and broke the transfer record for an EFL player moving to an EPL club at the time.

Sources at the time reported the fee as a fee rising £9m, meaning around £17m in transfers has been spent on Wickham throughout his career.

The striker scored two goals in 13 games on loan at Sheffield Wednesday in 2019-20, but did not feature at all last season as the Owls were relegated to League One.

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