Wickham advised to stay put by Spurs coach Ferdinand

CONNOR Wickham has been warned about the dangers of joining a Premier League side too soon – by a coach at one of the clubs said to be hunting him.

Tottenham’s coach Les Ferdinand has advised the young hot-shot to stay at Ipswich unless he is guaranteed a starting spot at a Premier League giant.

Spurs were said to be in the running for the frontman if Town received a multi-million pound offer for the 17-year-old that was deemed too good to turn down.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle have also been linked with the teenage sensation, but the former England striker believes Wickham might be better off remaining in Suffolk for another season at least.

Ferdinand said: “If Connor Wickham goes somewhere else, is he going to play on a regular basis? It’s all well and good going to a big club but only if you are playing. There is no point taking Wickham out of the Championship if he’s not going to play in the first team.


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“Someone might buy him and loan him back to further his education. But I think many of these young kids have tasted first team football so they need to be playing.”

Town fans have been bracing themselves for mounting interest in Wickham in the summer after the youngster scored a wonder goal against Sheffield United and then his first professional hat-trick in the 6-0 rout at Doncaster.

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He has furthered his footballing education by playing left-wing under Paul Jewell who believes he is not quite ready to lead the line from the centre.

But Ferdinand, who was so prolific during his time at QPR, Newcastle and Spurs, said: “I’ve seen him play on a few occasions now, but unfortunately for Wickham at the moment he is playing as a winger.

“They play him wide on the left or wide on the right, so he is perhaps not able to show what he can do as a centre-forward. That’s always difficult, but there is obviously a lot of talk about him.”

In an impressive career, Ferdinand scored 211 goals from 446 games and was involved in two �6 million moves to Newcastle and then Tottenham.

Known for his strong physique as well as his scoring prowess, he has clearly been impressed by Wickham’s raw potential adding: “When you look at his size, he is 17 years of age and you can just imagine him in youth team football running through everybody because he was that size at 15.

“He’s now hitting that progression, playing man’s football and it will take him a bit of time to adapt to that.”

While Jewell has made no secret about the fact that he is targeting a new striker for next season, most Town fans will hope a new man is paired with Wickham rather than act as a replacement.

Ferdinand’s comments suggest that either Spurs would not be interested in shelling out an estimated �10 million on a then 18-year-old, or that they are simply a smokescreen to mask plans for a bid in the summer.

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