Upon scoring THAT inspired goal against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, it seemed Connor Wickham had received a new lease in life.
The Crystal Palace striker’s emotions were palpable, with his post-goal celebrations proving how much it meant for him. A talented striker who’s been horribly plagued with injuries in recent years, Wickham’s struggling to find light after the nightmare.
Apart from that goal, he’s only made one assist in five Premier League appearances this season. He’s struggling to climb above the pecking order and can’t even get a chance ahead of the misfiring Christian Benteke. Roy Hodgson’s been strict with his team selection and unless he improves, the 25-year-old isn’t getting into the fray anytime soon after the late arrival of Michy Batshuayi.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a future for him at Palace. Despite the club helping him admirably during his recovery from injury, the former Sunderland man needs to move elsewhere to find back his lethal touch. While not many Premier League sides would surely consider him, Wickham could have suitors below if he can get back to his best.
As a matter of fact, he could do well with a move to promotion favourites Leeds United or even West Bromwich Albion. He spent a few months at Leeds many years ago and can be a decent back-up striker with his clinical striking ability. While it’ll take him time to blend into Marcelo Bielsa’s style, if he works hard enough to be adept for it, the Argentine’s the perfect man to revitalize his career.
But West Brom – who the Guardian reported back in August had enquired about him – would probably be a better fit. They’ve turned into a bright attacking side under Darren Moore and with their direct style, the strong Wickham can stir defences and find goals.
Indeed, if the Baggies ever wanted a reminder of his quality, the stunning volley he fired in as part of a brace away at the Hawthorns back in 2016 should serve as one.
Even if they don’t manage to get a promotion, Wickham shouldn’t shy away from joining them, as he can find his confidence by thriving in the competitive Championship.
If his bright performance against Spurs proved anything, Connor Wickham still has booming talent inside him. He just needs to overcome his demons and get over this difficult phase to find back that deadly predatorial instinct which made him a heavily-touted figure years ago.
Palace fans, will you be affected by the potential departure of Wickham? Join the discussion by commenting below.