Owls Move For Sunderland Striker Blocked By O'Neill

Kiyoshi Ota

Sheffield Wednesday have enquired about taking £8m man Connor Wickham on loan, but Martin O'Neill has other ideas and won't let him leave Wearside just yet.

Connor Wickham has been the subject of much speculation in recent months about whether or not he'll be leaving the club on loan, with a host of Championship suitors waiting in the wings.

Martin O'Neill today confirmed that Sheffield Wednesday had made an enquiry about his services, but he won't be letting Wickham leave any time soon, as he told Sky Sports;

Sheffield Wednesday did make an approach for him.

Apparently it was reported that we couldn't agree the wage structure but nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is that I was asked by our chief executive if I would be prepared to let a deal go through and I said that we couldn't afford to let anyone go.

We have a spate of games coming up here which he would miss and we don't have the back-up to allow him to do that.

It's an interesting turn of events for Wickham. It's clear to everyone with half a footballing brain that he needs games, and fast. However time looked very much limited at the Stadium of Light, despite an impressive preseason.

Louis Saha will pretty much always be ahead of him in the pecking order given his veteran experience, if not what he actually brings to the table, and strangely Fraizer Campbell seems to have nipped in ahead of him too.

At the weekend however Wickham made it to the bench ahead of Campbell. At the moment we assume this is purely choice given there's not been any reports of an injury to Campbell, a likeable but ultimately limited and ineffectual player.

Wickham has shown for the Under-21's both on Wearside and for England in recent weeks that his game is moving to a new level. He's getting much better at holding position and using his size to his advantage.

Hopefully now he's been given an opportunity to be selected regularly, he takes the chance with both hands and becomes a success at Sunderland.

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