It’s been a long time since Crystal Palace fans were able to get excited about the performances of Connor Wickham but yesterday, the 25-year-old produced a moment of magic in the U23s clash with Bristol City to rescue a point for the Eagles.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) December 10, 2018
His injury woes have been well documented over the last couple of years but after a string of false starts, it’s beginning to feel as though the former Sunderland man may actually be on the cusp of a return to the first-team some 25 months after damaging his ACL in a game away at Swansea.
Each attempt at a return to date has been halted by a fresh niggle or knock but this time, it seems as though Connor is looking fitter and fresher than ever before. Having started alongside the likes of Scott Dann, Nya Kirby, Jairo Riedewald and Sullay Kaikai yesterday, the overhead kick he pulled off to level the scores was an act of a man who is finally feeling confident in his body again.
Admittedly, he was almost immediately sent off moments later after two silly bookings, prompting many supporters to suggest that he’d done it intentionally to minimise the risk of injury but with the first-team badly struggling for goals each week, his possible return to the fold would serve as a gigantic boost to both the morale and tactical confidence of the group.
Prior to his injury, Connor had already been labelled by large swathes of the sporting press as someone with outrageous potential that he had yet to realise. The two-year struggle he’s had to regain fitness has only enforced that view but should he manage to return and find his goal-scoring touch, it will serve as the very definition of a sporting redemption story.
Do we dare to dream of him being involved in the squad which takes of Leicester this weekend? I don’t see why not.