A recent interview with Connor Wickham in The Mirror gives a fantastic insight into the difficulties he faced when first making his way in the game.
Whilst many may have been quick to view Wickham as a stereotypical modern day money-mad footballer, the truth paints a startlingly different picture. Forced to grow up far earlier than most children thanks to his family circumstances, you get the impression that Connor won’t take a minute that he is afforded in the professional game for granted.
Having risen through Ipswich’s academy set-up and endured a frustrating few years at Sunderland, the physically imposing frontman is looking to lay down long-term roots in south London, having got the impression that we represent the perfect opportunity for him to realise his true potential.
Still incredibly young, the striker has already gone through a hell of a lot in the years that have brought him to this point, but under the watchful eye of Alan Pardew, there is little to hold him back from catching the eye of Roy Hodgson or indeed the man who is chosen to succeed him following Euro 2016.
Wickham’s individual display in Crystal Palace’s 2-1 over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge just a few weeks ago gave everyone a glimpse of what the frontman can achieve when at his best. Powerful, determined and technically impressive, Connor gave the hosts all sorts of problems throughout the game.
Should he be able to replicate that on numerous occasions in the months to come, the sky is the limit for both him and Crystal Palace FC.