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Crystal Palace continue clever summer signings with Connor Wickham

Coral’s 6/4 Premier League top 10 finish chances Crystal Palace have continued an impressive transfer window of recruitment with the capture of English centre forward Connor Wickham from Sunderland, handing him a five-year deal.

The Eagles pay a reported £7m up front to capture the former Ipswich Town academy product, who also had loan spells with Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday, and the fee could rise to £9m in add-ons and if bonus requirements are met.

“I spoke to the gaffer last week and he said all the right things about the club and I’ve got friends here who also told me some very good things,” Wickham told Palace’s official website. “I looked at the team before I arrived here and the signings that have been brought in, and the potential to score goals and the chances that could be created was a massive influence.

“Hopefully I can add to that talent and make the squad stronger. I think I needed the fresh start, I had four years up north and it’s been a bit stop-start. Now I’ve come back home and I can settle down and see my family a bit more and hopefully let my football do the talking.”

Wickham, 22, helped save Sunderland from relegation by scoring key goals at the back end of 2013/14, and was a regular last term as a result under both Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat.

The Black Cats buying Dutch forward Jeremain Lens may have limited his game time if he stayed at the Stadium of Light, so moving to London may prove to be a right career choice.

Alan Pardew and the Eagles hierarchy have embarked upon an ambitious recruitment drive this summer, which has yielded the arrivals of France playmaker Yohan Cabaye from PSG and highly-rated England Under-21 international attacker Patrick Bamford on loan from Chelsea at Selhurst Park, as well as goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

Wickham’s arrival at Selhurst Park means fellow forward Dwight Gayle could be loaned out to London rivals Fulham, while there also doubts over the future of Glenn Murray, who showed superb scoring form towards the end of last term.