Connor Wickham has been brought back into the Crystal Palace team over the last two or three weeks but as of yet, Roy Hodgson hasn’t felt comfortable starting the former Sunderland man at the head of the side; a fact Connor himself is looking to change against Wolves on Wednesday.
Speaking immediately after the Eagles’ 1-0 home defeat to Chelsea on Sunday, Wickham admitted that he feels fit and ready to go for whatever the gaffer has in mind, even though he’s mindful of the baby steps he has to take whilst recovering from such a long-term lay-off.
Unfortunately, it’s bordering on impossible for Roy or his coaching staff to say with any certainty whether or not Wickham is ready to start a game in the Premier League until he is thrown into the figurative deep end. Of course, should he tire 60 or 70 minutes in we can make a tactical shift but the pace of a top flight game’s opening stages can often by extremely frantic, leaving us with something of an unknown ahead of the trip to Wolverhampton on Wednesday night.
One thing we can all agree on, is that the sight and sound of Connor being back at full fitness is a welcome one, casting aside the worries that had begun to grow around his chances of ever making a first-team return. Still just 25, the Hereford-born frontman has plenty of years left in his legs if he can re-establish himself within the game, with the faith and backing he’s been shown by everyone at Crystal Palace likely to ensure his loyalty for the remainder of his career.
How fantastic would it be to see the big man netting the winner up at Molineux? I can’t think of a more fitting way for him to put this chapter behind him. Keep your fingers crossed.