Ex-Sunderland striker Connor Wickham training with Preston North End following Crystal Palace exit

Sunderland face Blackpool in the Carabao Cup this evening.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 1:48 pm
Connor Wickham during his Sunderland days.

That’s after the Wearsiders defeated AFC Wimbledon in League One last weekend.

A second-half strike from Carl Winchester was enough to hand Sunderland the three points and leave the Black Cats fifth after four games played.

Lee Johnson has added seven first-team players to his squad so far this window.

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Here, though, we take you through all of the latest talk surrounding Sunderland and their League One rivals:

Connor Wickham on trial with Championship club

Connor Wickham is training with Preston North End following his Crystal Palace exit.

The 28-year-old has played just 33 league games in the past four seasons.

Wickham enjoyed a four campaign stint at the Stadium of Light – with loans at Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday in between – following an £8m move from Ipswich Town back in 2011.

The fee broke Ipswich's record for transfer fees recouped, and broke the transfer record for a Football League player moving to a Premier League club at the time.

And the deal was seen as a coup for the North East club to sign Wickham at the time, having beaten off interest from Liverpool to capture his signature.

The former England youth international found the net just 15 times in 91 appearances on Wearside before sealing a move to Palace on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee in 2015.

Sources at the time reported the fee as a fee rising £9m, meaning around £17m in transfers has been spent on Wickham throughout his career.

The striker scored two goals in 13 games on loan at Sheffield Wednesday in 2019-20, but did not feature at all last season as the Owls were relegated to League One.

"He's in and he's training," Preston North End boss Frankie McAvoy said.

He told BBC Radio Lancashire: "He's not played a lot of games. We need to look at him, see how he does and see if he can come and do a role here.

"If he can then we'll look to sign him. If we don't then we'll be honest with him."