Connor Wickham has revealed that, once Leeds United expressed an interest in signing him, he immediately dismissed all other options.
The England Under-21 international was once regarded as one of the best talents in the country, as he rose through the ranks of the Ipswich Town youth side. He would go on to make over 60 league appearances for the Portman Road outfit, having become the youngster player to debut for the club at just 16 years and 11 days old.
In the summer of 2011, Sunderland beat a host of Premier League clubs to sign the striker in an £8million deal, but he struggled to make an impact at the Stadium of Light. He has since enjoyed two loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday, the most recent of which came earlier this season when he scored an impressive eight goals in 11 appearances.
He returned to the Black Cats at the end of last month, and has since appeared twice as a substitute. However, with Gus Poyet’s side needing more experienced options as they look to pull away from a relegation fight, they have allowed Wickham to spent the rest of the season at Leeds, which is a move the youngster simply couldn’t refuse.
“Once I heard Leeds United were interested in signing me there were no other choices and no doubt I wanted to come,” he told the official club website. “I need to be playing football. The potential here is big. There are some players here that I know already, and the team is looking to push towards the play-offs. Hopefully I can help with that.”
Wickham, 20, becomes the second impressive young loan addition to Brian McDermott’s squad this month, following the arrival of Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland. Both are expected to feature on Saturday afternoon, when the Whites will be hoping to get their Championship playoff push back on track at Queens Park Rangers.