Wickham signs until 2021: Crystal Palace’s 2019 ruthlessness over before it began

Crystal Palace have announced that Connor Wickham has signed an extension to his current deal at Selhurst Park, meaning that he will stay at the club until 2021. The former Sunderland man putting pen to paper is Palace’s first bit of business of the window and it’s hardly inspiring.

Despite having spent much of the 2018/19 campaign on the treatment table, the crocked striker appears to be a part of Roy Hodgson’s plans next season, although his appearances will likely be limited to the cup competitions or off the bench.

Considering what happened at SE25 in January, it’s a surprise that the big hitman will remain at the club beyond the summer but it’s a total shock that the Eagles chiefs have decided to offer him an extension.

What’s the word?

Well, the 26-year-old, who has made just 42 appearances since signing in August 2015, had this to say after signing his one-year extension:

“I’m pleased to have got everything sorted, so I can now fully focus on working my way back into the team during pre-season and the upcoming campaign. I hope I’ll be able to show that when fully fit I’m capable of playing a key part.

“It meant a lot that the club backed me after such a serious injury and I hope I’ll be able to repay that faith shown in me.”

The number 21 managed just 6o minutes of Premier League football in 2018/19 but it would seem that those were enough to see his future at the club secured for another two years, remarkably.

January fire-sale a one-off

Having offloaded Jonny Williams, Jason Puncheon and Jordon Mutch in January, Palace looked to be finally clearing out their deadwood in order to free up their wage bill, although this ruthless attitude seems to have already been discarded – Eagles fans will wish Wickham had gone with it.

The one-goal flop rakes in an astonishing £60,000-a-week and is the club’s joint-seventh-highest earner, level with Scott Dann and Vicente Guaita. At present, the decision to extend his current deal seems foolish and will likely prove costly in the coming years unless the forward can put his injuries behind him and repay the faith, as he says, that has bizarrely been shown in him.

Wickham certainly isn’t the striker signing Palace fans are surely hoping for this summer and they will be crossing their fingers that he isn’t the only one.

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