As a lot of Sunderland fans are well aware, Bruce paid a hefty fee for the next 'big thing' but under O'Neill's reign he has barely seen the light of day never mind first team football at the Stadium of Light.
As some fans may also be aware, Wickham has been excelling at Under-21 level for the club. Bagging several goals for the Black Cats Under-21's including a brace against Aston Villa Under-21's today, who he also scored his one and only senior goal for Sunderland.
Unluckily for Wickham, last season when he started picking up momentum last season after scoring against Villa he went into his next game against United and got injured just 5 minutes in through injury.
Some Sunderland pundits and ex-Sunderland players alike seem to have a similar view point on Connor Wickham that he not quite ready. Just this morning Micky Gray commented on his views on the England Under-21 International via Twitter:
However O'Neill does not see him as ready and some press were even saying that he was never going to be ready, as it was suggested that Connor Wickham could go the other way in the Fletcher deal.
In my opinion, Connor Wickham isn't quite ready but he definitely has a future in Sunderland in my eyes. I think to get the best out of him he should of went out on loan to a top Championship side such as Cardiff, Hull or Blackburn or even a lower Premier League side such as Norwich or Southampton.
Long story short: I believe Connor Wickham is an extremely talented youngster who has a very bright future at Sunderland and at national level. He is very exciting and will soon prove that he is worth every penny paid by Bruce.