DAVE Jones is delighted to have landed £8m striker Connor Wickham on loan and hopes to keep him for the rest of the season.
The Wednesday boss ended a long pursuit by signing the England Under 21 goal-scorer from Sunderland and is believed to have beaten Hull and Huddersfield in the chase.
The deal is initially for a month but Jones hopes that if all goes well it will be extended.
“I’d love him to stay,” Jones told The Star. “It depends on him doing the business and it depends on whether Sunderland get injuries and on whether they want to call him back.
“Hopefully he’ll end up staying longer. But let’s get this first month out of the way first.”
It is believed that if the deal is extended after March 9 then Sunderland will want to recall the 19-year-old at short notice if necessary.
When Jones tried to land Wickham in November, Sunderland were unwilling to let him go.
“I’ve been after him for a while, and I’m really pleased to have got him,” said the Owls manager.
“He’s a good player who we have watched numerous times, at international level as well, and he scored for the Under 21s the other night.
“He’s a strong, young player with plenty of running in him, and he’s got goals in him. He’s the type of player we’re looking for, and there were other clubs interested.”
Wickham scored his fourth goal in five appearances for England Under 21s, in a 4-0 win against Sweden this week.
Signed for £8m from Ipswich nearly two years ago, he is still regarded as a hot prospect, who has improved in the last few months.
Sunderland have signed Danny Graham from Swansea for £5m, and their strikers include top scorer Steven Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon. They also have only three games in four weeks after today’s against Arsenal, and feel the time is right to let Wickham out.
He looks set to start on the Owls bench against Derby today.