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O'Neill insists Wickham has Sunderland future

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill insists Connor Wickham remains in his plans.

Wickham has joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan from Sunderland.

O'Neill said: "Do I think it would be of benefit to the player? Absolutely. I have to look at these things. Sometimes you are always running that risk, particularly with us not having biggest squad.

"The lad has come back from the Under 21s, he has got a couple of goals. I know there is a mile of difference between under 21 football and Premier league football and he has started some games here, I think he wants to start more often.

"I am balancing it on the good of the club and the player in the short term and the good of the club in the long term. If it rebounds it is my decision.

"He would go out as a Sunderland player and comes back as a Sunderland player and more importantly he feels that which is good and he genuinely wants to do it here.

"He does not want to leave the football club and he has to concern himself less about being an up and coming young kid with a big price tag - just go and concentrate on his game, that is what he is trying to do."

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