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We would love to have Connor Wickham back on loan – Paul Jewell

PUBLISHED: 22:07 03 May 2012

Could Connor Wickham wear the blue of Ipswich once again?

Could Connor Wickham wear the blue of Ipswich once again?

Archant

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.

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.

Ipswich Town’s managing director last night criticised the “unwarranted personal abuse” suffered by manager Mick McCarthy and players from fans and the media this season.

Ipswich Town finance director Mark Andrews insists owner Marcus Evans remains ‘in it for the long haul’ after the latest set of accounts were revealed at tonight’s PLC AGM, adding there could well be money for transfers in January.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy and skipper Luke Chambers have led tributes to “much-loved” club stalwart Dick Parker after he died at the weekend.

Ipswich Town lost 2-0 at Middlesbrough on Saturday to slip to ninth in the Championship table.

From the counter kings at Derby, to the counter chumps at Middlesbrough. With five of the next seven games at home, Ipswich Town need to take their medicine and quickly refocus on maintaining the fun factor at Portman Road.

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