One to Watch #42: Connor Wickham

Last updated : 14 April 2010 By Dan Buxton

                                                                 Connor Wickham

Name: Connor Wickham

Date of Birth: 31st March 1993

Position: Striker

Club: Ipswich

Previous Clubs: None

International caps: England U16 13(12)

                                    England U17 10(8)

Striker who is being tipped as 'The next Wayne Rooney', Wickham certainly has all the ingrediants to make it to the very top of the game.

Tall, six foot three tall in fact, and powerful he also has a killer instinct in front of goal and is the youngest player to ever pull on an Ipswich Town shirt, when he made his debut in April 2009, aged 16 years and 11 days. The Wayne Rooney comparison was made when he made his debut and it was stated he was as good as Rooney at the same age but bigger.

Manager Roy Keane gave the hitman one more sub appearance in the 2008/9 season but was wary of exposing the youngster to too much too soon, as he couldn't sign for Ipswich until April 2010 after he had turned 17, and also to keep his feet on the ground.

That was made even more difficult at the start of the 2009/10 season when he found the net three times during the Carling Cup tie away at Shrewsbury. He scored both Ipswich's goals as the game ended 2-2 before netting in the shoot out, which they won 4-2. Keane continued to bide his time with the player and countless late sub appearances kept the striker around the team but without too much exposure.

His first league goal arrived in March 2010 when he scored an injury time winner against Doncaster then, days after signing his first professional contract, he scored another injury time goal to secure a home win over Derby.

Ipswich did well to keep hold of Wickham as he attracted interest from all of the top flights 'Big Four' aswell as Tottenham and Aston Villa before signing a two and a half year deal at Portman Road. The club have also stated how whenever the striker is playing, whether it be for first team, reserves or academy sides, they are inundated with requests from scouts and have twenty to thirty extra scouts turning up to watch him.

Wickham showed more signs of his talent when he netted a twenty minute hat trick for England U17 in November 2009, to help secure the Three Lions place in the 2010 Elite group tournament.