Sunderland recall Wickham from Leeds United

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SUNDERLAND have recalled Connor Wickham from his loan spell at Leeds United.

The striker is now set to go straight into the Black Cats’ squad to face Liverpool on Wednesday as Gus Poyet strengthens his options up front.

With Steven Fletcher struggling with injury, Fabio Borini unable to play against his parent club midweek and Nacho Scocco clearly way short of fitness, Wickham might well get his chance for real involvement in the first team.

Jozy Altidore is Poyet’s only other option up front but has become a divisive figure with his failure to impress in a Sunderland shirt this season, scoring just one goal in the whole campaign and cutting as anonymous a figure in the 2-0 defeat at Norwich City at the weekend as he had done in his last league outing, the 4-1 defeat at Arsenal.

Wickham returns to Sunderland after only one month on loan at Elland Road.

He played five games without a goal - although he was being deployed recently on the left-wing to accommodate other strikers.

United manager Brian McDermott said: “We’re disappointed to lose Connor, but I’d like to thank Gus for allowing him to come here.

“He has done extremely well for us, and we wish him well for the future.”

Although Wickham failed to score for Leeds, he scored eight goals in 11 games in a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.

And in the nine Sunderland games he has been involved in this season - coming on in many as a late substitute - he has scored two goals.