Crystal Palace have completed an initial £7million deal to sign Connor Wickham from Sunderland on a five year deal, BBC Sport have reported.
The 22-year-old continues Crystal Palace’s tradition of smart spending, following the arrivals of Patrick Bamford, Alex McCarthy and Yohan Cabaye.
The uncapped England forward signed for Sunderland from Ipswich for £8m in 2011 to much fan fare as part of an exciting crop of young English forwards.
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However, despite spending four years on Wearside he only scored 15 times in 91 appearances. The player himself described his career in the north as a bit “stop-start” to the official Crystal Palace website.
Despite this the Eagles have high hopes for him. It was the end of the 2014 Premier League season that he really impressed, scoring five goals in three matches to see Sunderland narrowly escape relegation.
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Waiting in the Wings
It was expected that last season he would be given an opportunity to impress in his favoured central position, but the return to fitness of Steven Fletcher and the arrival of Jermaine Defoe meant that he featured predominantly on the wing.
Wickham revealed he hopes that his return south will see him settle down, allowing him to see his family regularly.
"Now I've come back home and I can settle down and see my family a bit more and hopefully let my football do the talking,” he said.
At Crystal Palace Wickham will be allowed the chance to flourish in a central striking role, supported by Wilfred Zaha, Yannick Bolasie and Yohan Cabaye in an attacking setup that should play to his strengths.
"I looked at the team before I arrived here and the signings that have been brought in, and the potential to score goals and the chances that could be created was a massive influence. Hopefully I can add to that talent and make the squad stronger," he deduced.
Palace will provide him with the stability he craves after numerous loan deals and management changes. In Alan Pardew he has a manager who will support and coax the best out of him in an effort to rediscover the teenager who first broke through at Ipswich in 2009.
Palace fans, do you think Wickham will be a good signing for you? Let us know in the comments box below.