Mick Mills: Wickham can be the next Andy Carroll

IPSWICH TOWN: Former Town skipper Mick Mills believes that Connor Wickham is in line to become the next Andy Carroll.

Big, powerful centre-forwards are in short supply in England, but Mills believes that �35m man Carroll and Ipswich Town teenager Wickham are two of a kind, in terms of their prowess on the pitch.

Wickham, who celebrates his 18th birthday on Thursday, is only just starting out on the path to stardom, though that might be hastened by his recent scooping of the Football League’s Young Player of the Year award.

He is more than four years the junior to the swashbuckling Carroll, who was in England’s senior squad for Saturday’s European Championship qualifier against Wales.

But the similarity between the two players is a big plus for Mills.

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“Players of Connor’s stature are hard to come by, the sort of striker who can lead the line so effectively,” explained ex-England and Town full-back Mills.

“Connor is in the mould of an Andy Carroll, a big powerful striker who is also very mobile. They are in short supply.

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“There are a lot of the smaller strikers around the country, as seen with the England Under-21s the other night, but not many traditional centre-forwards.

“Often managers are looking for a big striker to play alongside the smaller one that they have already got in the team. Most managers still prefer to have a big man up front,” added Mills.

Wickham earned his second cap for the England Under-21s, in Thursday night’s 4-0 win over hosts Denmark, although he only appeared as an 87th minute substitute.

The Town No.9 should enjoy a longer stay on the pitch tonight, as England Under-21s entertain Iceland in another friendly at Preston’s Deepdale.

This seems especially likely after Under-21s boss Stuart Pearce allowed strikers Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge to leave the squad after the Denmark win.

And Wickham himself has made his international ambitions abundantly clear, admitting he has more than one eye on this summer’s European Championships – a year after helping his country lift the Under-17s title.

He said: “I just want to show the gaffer what I’m capable of and be in the mindset for the summer and for future England games. To come away with England and to be selected as one of the best is brilliant. Training’s been good this week but I’ve just got to carry on working hard for Monday’s game and who knows what will happen.

“Even just to be selected would be brilliant but to win it would be better. I don’t see why we can’t go on and really push this summer to win the tournament.”

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