Sheffield Wednesday new boy Connor Wickham has spoken about the one major driving force that sold him on a loan switch to the Owls in a recent interview this week.
The 26-year-old has joined the club from Crystal Palace on a deal until the end of the season after falling further down the pecking order at Selhurst Park.
Wickham has barely featured in the past four years at the Premier League outfit, playing just 48 games following a series of injury woes scuppered his progression.
And now he’s back in south Yorkshire for a third stint but what made him choose Wednesday over the interest from Reading, Bristol City and Cardiff City?
Here’s how he responded:
“He [Garry Monk] 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.
“I don’t think sitting on the bench or sitting in the stand at Crystal Palace is going to make my career go forward.
“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.”
Connor Wickham, Owls loan striker.
It is always a good sign when a player praises the manager as being the reason behind making such decisions, and this should provide huge encouragement for Wednesday’s likely summer exodus.
No fewer than nine first-team players are out of contract at the end of the season, so there’s certainly going to be some sort of rebuild job happening under Garry Monk.
He’ll be able to bring in a fresh set of options that he has handpicked himself, rather than having to primarily work with a squad that was built by his predecessors, namely Steve Bruce and then caretaker Lee Bullen.
Monk’s January arrivals have already started and featured – Alessio Da Cruz, Josh Windass and Wickham – which would suggest that he very much would like to get a team of his own accord together – it’s just whether or not he will be given time to do so.