Palace fans everywhere will be extremely pleased to hear that Connor Wickham is likely to be fit to face Leicester City when the team travel to face them next weekend.
The former Sunderland frontman has been out of action since our victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where he played a starring role, but is now expected to return to the fold, which will come as a huge relief to Alan Pardew given the enforced absence of Dwight Gayle through suspension.
Whilst many have been incredibly sceptical about Wickham’s general ability, you will struggle to find a level-headed fan who wouldn’t have liked to see him available for selection yesterday, given the toothlessness we showed in the final third following Gayle’s dismissal.
Despite a great number of our fans bemoaning the sale of Glenn Murray this summer, there seems to be a general sense of ignorance over the fact that Wickham is, in many ways, a carbon copy of the former Brighton man in playing style. Perhaps slightly blurred by the fact that he simply hasn’t played that often, you will hear one or two raising concerns over his lack of goals, but for the width of a post, he would have got off the mark at home to Arsenal, dousing the flames surrounding his general worth to the side completely.
For all of Gayle’s endeavour, he will always struggle to lead the line with any real sense of menace, whilst Wickham bullies defenders as a default setting, highlighted perfectly by his dominant display at Stamford Bridge, where he was empowered to play as a natural out-and-out striker, unlike the vast majority of his time at Sunderland.
Let’s hope he returns to the starting XI on Saturday afternoon in a triumphant blaze of glory, silencing his numerous doubters with a performance which backs up the sizeable fee we shelled out for him over the summer. For both the player and his new boss, it would be a moment of real vindication.