Connor Wickham describes role Garry Monk had to play in him turning down rivals to join Sheffield Wednesday
There were several points in the January transfer window where it felt as though Sheffield Wednesday were losing ground in the race to sign Crystal Palace forward Connor Wickham.
The 26-year-old, who embarked on his third stint in an Owls shirt with a committed display in their 1-1 draw at Barnsley on Saturday, was of interest to a host of Championship clubs including Cardiff, Bristol City and Reading, with the Royals having reportedly agreed a late deal to take him to Berkshire.
French giants Bordeaux were also reported to have expressed an interest as Wickham found himself shunted further down the pecking order at Selhurst Park with the signing of Everton’s Cenk Tosun.
Wickham – a former England youth international – is coming to the end of a comeback trail from a serious knee injury and played only a handful of cameo minutes for the Eagles this season.
And with that raft of rivals circling for his signature it was the level of interest shown in him by Owls boss Garry Monk that convinced him to spend the rest of the season at Hillsborough.
Asked about Monk’s influence on the deal, Wickham said: “He was massive to be honest. I spoke to him quite a few times and I felt the love from the manager.
“That's what you need, I felt that the manager wanted me, so hopefully I can get on the pitch and repay that faith.
“As soon as I spoke to the manager, I spoke to my dad, I spoke to my agent and said 'we need to make this happen', and thankfully it did.”
Alongside fellow new faces Alessio Da Cruz and Josh Windass, Wickham has hinted at the possibility of extending his Wednesday spell.
“I don't think sitting on the bench or sitting in the stand at Crystal Palace is going to make my career go forward,” he said.
“I haven't really played for a couple of years, but I've shown little glimpses of what I can do and especially recently I've been focusing on getting myself ready for January and focusing on showing Sheffield Wednesday what I can do again.”