Date: 14th October 2010 at 10:02am
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Ipswich Town striker Connor Wickham is yet again the subject of transfer speculation with new reports claiming that Arsenal are tracking the 17-year-old in the hope of prising him away from Portman Road in January.

The latest story comes as no surprise to Town fans, who have probably already grown weary of Wickham repeatedly being linked with all of the big Premier League talent gannets, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur frequently among them as well as Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea. With Town successfully able to resist any interest over the summer having reportedly placed a £10m price tag on the teenager’s head, reports now suggest that Arsenal will lead the chase for him when the transfer window opens in January.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is said to have sent scouts to watch the England youth international on four occasions already this season. If the Londoners were to snatch Wickham, he would join the likes of Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey in having been plucked from the Championship at a young age with promises of a big future at the highest level.

Furthermore, one report suggests that Ipswich Town themselves have already conceded that a move away for Wickham is essentially inevitable. Goal.com UK claim that Town are hoping for a bidding war to develop between the biggest clubs so as to generate the best possible return on the striker, according to a ‘club source’. The possibility of Wickham being sold and then loaned back to the Blues has also been mentioned once again.

Stories like this are likely to emerge almost constantly with Wickham continuing to shine. The 6ft 3in striker was in the spotlight again after scoring on his debut for the England U19s in their 6-1 European Championship qualifying win over Albania. He has however yet to score a goal for the Blues this season and has had a lengthy spell out with injury. Despite that, speculation continues to rattle on, the latest reports coming just weeks after Town boss Roy Keane rejected rumours of a deal with Tottenham in exchange for continued loan deals of Spurs youngsters following the recent arrivals of Andros Townsend and Jake Livermore. Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton was also forced to quell speculation that he was looking to sign Wickham after attending Town’s recent 1-1 draw at Scunthorpe.

In all probability, it is highly likely that one day Wickham shall pursue a future away from Portman Road. If he is to become the star that much of the media has hyped him up to be, the prospect of remaining with Town is unlikely to appeal if the Blues cannot find their way out of the Championship very soon. Having said that, it is easy to forget that he is still only 17 years old, and Keane has repeatedly called for the media to back off from heaping attention and expectation on the youngster’s shoulders. At the end of the day, all Town fans can hope for is that Ipswich can benefit from Wickham seeking to continue his development at Portman Road for as long as possible.

What’s your view of the ongoing story surrounding Wickham? Is it too much too soon for a player who is still in his footballing infancy, or do you think Town will let him leave so as to flourish at the top level? Have your say on this story and join the debate on our club forums by registering with Vital Ipswich:

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