CONNOR WICKHAM will come into Gus Poyet’s thinking for tonight’s crunch clash with fellow strugglers Stoke City.
But Sunderland boss Poyet admits he is unsure whether Wickham will now stay at the Stadium of Light or be loaned back out to the Championship.
Sunderland opted to activate the recall clause in Wickham’s loan at Sheffield Wednesday on Monday and the England Under-21 striker was back training at the Academy of Light yesterday.
Poyet will wait until later in the week to decide whether to allow Wickham to re-join Wednesday, while the suggestion has also been mooted that the 20-year-old could be used as a makeweight in Sunderland’s hopes of bringing Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt to Wearside.
But for tonight, Wickham will provide an extra option in Poyet’s attacking ranks and is in form after netting eight goals in 11 games during his stint at Hillsborough.
Poyet told the Echo: “As you can imagine, he’s one option (for tomorrow) because of the work he’s done at Sheffield Wednesday.
“We had a chat yesterday after he came back and trained with us.
“We’ll have another chat after tonight’s game.
“But it is impossible to say what will happen just yet because he is training with us and is a player we can use.
“It will depend upon the squad’s needs and his needs.”
Poyet spoke with new Wednesday boss Stuart Gray before bringing Wickham back to the Stadium of Light and revealed that Sunderland were forced to act to meet the cut-off point on the recall, which was at lunchtime on Monday.
“It was a decision that we had to make before a certain time on Monday and we decided that it was the right time to bring him back,” he added.
“I had a good chat with Stuart Gray and explained the situation.
“It’s not easy for them, but we needed to make the decision. It wasn’t a case of maybe.
“Now he’s available.”
Wednesday still harbour hopes of re-signing Wickham though and Sunderland could allow him to return to South Yorkshire after Friday’s transfer deadline on an emergency loan.
“There is a good chance that we will get Connor back,” said Owls owner Milan Mandaric yesterday.
“Connor wanted to stay with us. He loved it here and liked being part of the club.
“It is important we get him back. We all know what he has done for us. I am very optimistic something can be done.”