Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy has confirmed that he is still yet to make a decision on Connor Wickham after the striker appeared in his first reserve team game for the Lilywhites on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old is a free agent after ending his nightmare stint at Crystal Palace this summer after his contract expired.
His time at Selhurst Park was plagued by injuries and his last taste of senior football came in the 2019-20 season when he spent the second half of that on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.
Wickham though has been taken in on trial by North End, who have been desperate to add to their striking options this summer but weren’t able to land an out-and-out striker before the transfer window closed.
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Free agents though are allowed to be signed and a space in North End’s 25-man squad has been left open for Wickham should he prove himself to McAvoy.
Wickham pulled on the jersey for the first time in a reserve team match against Walsall this week, where he lasted the whole 90 minutes but had a penalty saved in the first half in a 1-1 draw against the Saddlers.
It wasn’t ideal for Wickham to not find the back of the net but regardless of that no decision has been made on whether his future lies at Deepdale or not.
“We’ve only had him in for a couple of weeks, I thought he looked lively in the first half on Tuesday,” McAvoy said, per PNE’s official Twitter account.
“There is no rush, there are a few bits we just need to get right and if we can then something might happen but we are taking our time with it.”
PNE may have signed Josh Murphy on deadline day to add to the options up-front, but Wickham is a different kind of player.
However the fact he still remains on trial suggests that he hasn’t fully impressed the coaching staff at Euxton training ground and not putting away his penalty opportunity against Walsall won’t have helped.
Wickham is clearly fit as he lasted the whole reserve match on the pitch but it’s now all about if he can come into McAvoy’s plans and make an impact.
The suggestion is he’s not quite there just yet but in a weeks time things may be completely different and Wickham could either be signed up or moving on to other opportunities.