Reported Liverpool and Arsenal Connor Wickham target demonstrated his talents in clinical style last night as he scored a hat-trick in Ipswich's 6-0 demolition of Doncaster.
The 17-year-old scored either side of the interval as the Tractor Boys ran riot at the Keepmoat and then completed the rout with a last minute penalty.
Wickham is one of the most highly-regarded prospects in English football and has reportedly caught the attention of a number of Barclays Premier League clubs - the most notable suitors being Liverpool and Arsenal.
It was initially reported by the Daily Mail that Liverpool were considering a £10 million January bid for the teenager, but it now appears they will delay a formal offer until the summer at least.
According to Goal.com, however, Wickham would rather a move to Arsenal should the opportunity present itself – which will no doubt serve as a blow to Liverpool in their pursuit of the youngster.
Despite claims that Wickham is a Liverpool fan - citing former Anfield hero Fernando Torres as his idol - it is understood he does not believe a switch to the Reds would represent the best for his future.
Liverpool director of football strategy, Damien Comolli, is thought to have been monitoring Wickham's progress with Ipswich but he reportedly faces the almost impossible task of convincing the forward that a move to Anfield is his best option.
The England under 21 international is reported to favour a move to Arsenal after being impressed by their track record of nurturing young talent and developing them into world class performers.
Arsene Wenger is renowned for his philosophy of investing in players at a young age who can be moulded to fit with the Gunners' ethos - with the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere shining examples of Arsenal academy graduates.
Wickham certainly has the talent to make the grade at the highest level and is already showing signs of fulfilling his potential; even drawing comparisons to Arsenal great Thierry Henry after a goal against Sheffield United earlier this month.
"It was a great goal and if anyone else had come on the pitch he'd have gone past them too," said Ipswich boss, Paul Jewell.
"It was like Thierry Henry against Tottenham in a north London derby all those years ago, where he picked the ball up and went past everyone.
"It should do bundles for his confidence. He's got that in his locker and deserves a lot of plaudits."
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