PAUL Jewell has admitted Ipswich will be at the head of the queue should former Town teen sensation Connor Wickham be loaned out next season.

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The Blues’ biggest-ever sale has endured a difficult first season in the Premier League scoring once and starting just five matches with Sunderland.

The 19-year-old’s failure to break into Martin O’Neill’s team has led to speculation that Wickham could be sent on loan next season as part of his development.

Speaking for the first time about the rumours, Jewell admitted Town would have first say on any loan deal as part of last summer’s multi-million pound transfer.

While Wickham’s wages, and the percentage Ipswich would have to pay, might prove a stumbling block, Jewell hoped there would be some room for manoeuvre.

He admitted: “If they are going to loan Connor, we will have first say.

“We will be head of the queue because that’s what the deal says, though I am not quite sure about the wages. I think that ‘first say’ is on very high wages which would rule out most Championship clubs.

“If Sunderland wanted Connor to get some football and the wages were right, we would definitely be interested.”

Jewell’s comments will be welcomed by Town fans who would love to see the teenager back at Portman Road – if only on a season-long loan.

Wickham burst onto the scene in April 2009, becoming Town’s youngest-ever debutant when he came on against Doncaster, aged 16 years and 11 days.

He eventually made 37 starts, and another 34 from the bench, scoring 15 goals, before being snapped up by Steve Bruce and Sunderland for £8.1 million rising to £13 million.

But he’s found the transition to Premier League football difficult, both under Bruce and then after O’Neill took over in December.

Wickham will be hoping to make more of an impact on Wearside in pre-season.

But with O’Neill looking to secure a big-money striker in the summer, the youngster might be tempted by a loan move and the lure of regular first-team football.

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11 comments

  • Cyril, I do agree that we need about 5 new players but not necessarily in Wickham's mould OR price bracket if the £12M+ fee ever materializes. Jewell did get Cresswell at a reasonable price and there must be more like him out there if onlt our scouting team can find them and of course, if they want to come here. Pearce has just cost Leeds £500,000 which is not too expensive but heaven only knows what his wages will be. If Jewell goes heavily down the road of loans which he says he doesn't want, we will never have a settled staff to make into a long term team so more the need for an Accademy which now also seems dead in the water. Our 'friends' up the A140 achieved promotions on the backs of loans BUT then recruited good young players wanting to play Premiership football for Lambert. Perhaps we will have to follow the same route but cannot see that happening with our present set up. As much as I hate to say it but I feel that the 'promised land' is light years away, but there what would I know? I'll leave it to you optimists.

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    Brian Betts

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • Rubbish. We would love to have kept him - but 'we' ie the invisible man chose to sell and cash in on an obvious asset... and still manage to rack up a massive loss. I think we have tried Sunderland cast-offs before.... and found tht an utterly pointless exercise.

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    Rob Steroo

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • Nice as it would be to welcome Conner Wickham back to PR, we should not really be relying on loans, which as we have seen this season, can be terminated at very short notice. Jewell shold do all in his power to sign players on long term deals which would allow him or his possible replacement to mould the team which is all Ipswich. However my fear is that the 'word' is already out about the way young players are treated here and that not many will fancy a move to PR. Hope I'm wrong but no doubt Cyril, Tom & Co have more inside knowledge of Jewell's motives.

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    Brian Betts

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • David, the money certainly was not waisted it was just not spent on players, and we purchased less than two million.

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    Cyril Baker

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • Shoudn't have been sold in the first place Was said he dosn't needed to be sold but was .And the money has mostly gone on rubbish signing's and is gone. OF course Jewell would love to have Connor Wickham back yet again a loan player who could be recalled .Hasn't he learned from that? Build your team around youth and players on longer contracts then 6-12months ...

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    david bradley

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • Connor had a clause in his contract, which allowed him to speak to Premiership clubs if they offered £8M. Simple as that. We could have negotiated a higher clause level perhaps, when the contract was agreed, yet once signed, it was a done deal, as it were. As far as loans are concerned, David Bradley, just fyi, IF a fee is paid, then a player cannot be recalled during the loan period. If the loaning club wants recall, and will not agree to the loan without recall, then you have to decide whether you want to risk that or not. I would be pleased if Connor came back, IF he wishes to. I would be equally pleased to see him injury free and competing for a place in the Sunderland team. Brian, I agree that we could pick up players from league one, league two, and even the conference, but especially Scotland, where the SPL is in a mess. This is why David Moyes is so capable, picking up Jelavic for £5M from Rangers. Whilst I do not suggest we should have competed for him, it is an example that a truly talented manager will always succeed in spite of difficulties (such as Moyes) Anyway......I know it is unlikely, but the penny might drop eventually I also think we should INVEST in young players with talent, such as Nick Powell at Crewe, and get in there whilst others delay.

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    Kevin Bailey

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • Brian, I think you agree we need five new players, where do you think the money will come from to buy five players of the quality of Wickham. I dont like it but realise we have to use the loan market.

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    Cyril Baker

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • Shouldn't worry too much, if Sunderland allowed it and Wickham wanted it, the deal would fall down on those inevitable personal terms.

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    NB

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • No chance. Sunderland are losing Gyan permanenetly and Bendtners loan ends in the summer so will only have Wickham and Sessegnon to play up front (and Sessegnon is naturally a midfielder) so why in the world would they loan him out? No chance unless Sunderland sign 3 strikers!

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    Monkey1986

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • For about the hundredth time, Wickham WANTED TO LEAVE TO PLAY PREMIERSHIP FOOTBALL. It is not a case of whether we wanted to sell him or not, he would have left anyway. End of issue.

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    Tom

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • Cyril i allso ment that a lot of the money has gone on journey's mens wage's Not on building a stonger team.

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    david bradley

    Friday, May 4, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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