MX23RW : Thursday, September 20 13:23:10

Martin O'Neill: 'Connor Wickham can go out on loan'

O'Neill: 'Wickham can go out on loan'
© PA Photos
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill admits that he is prepared to allow striker Connor Wickham to leave the club on loan.

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill believes that striker Connor Wickham would benefit from playing first-team football.

The 19-year-old signed for the Black Cats for £8.1m from Ipswich Town in 2011 but with Wickham not featuring in the Premier League this season, O'Neill has revealed that he is prepared to allow the England Under-21 forward to leave on loan.

O'Neill said: "In recent weeks, Connor has done very well indeed. He's done well in training and I think he's very keen to do well in the team now. But of course there are a couple of centre-forwards barring his way at the minute.

"A couple of clubs have asked about him in terms of going on loan, and that's something I'll give some consideration to now. I wasn't going to do anything until after Tuesday night because we've been in the middle of a hectic programme.

"Maybe now, and I'm not just talking about Connor here, there are a couple of players I think need some games."

Wickham has scored just one goal in 19 appearances for Sunderland.

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