Crystal Palace have snapped up striker Connor Wickham from Premier League rivals Sunderland on a five-year deal, the club announced Monday.

The south London side will pay an initial A?7m (9.95 million euros; $10.9m dollars) fee for the 22-year-old, which could rise to A?9m depending on appearances.

“I think I needed a fresh start, I had four years up north and ita s been a bit stop-start,” said Wickham.

“Now Ia ve come back home and I can settle down and see my family a bit more and hopefully let my football do the talking.

“I spoke to the gaffer (Alan Pardew) 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.

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“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,” added Wickham.

The former England under-21 international endured a mixed four years at the Stadium of Light after arriving from Ipswich Town in an A?8m deal in 2011.

He scored 15 goals in 91 games but enjoyed his most consistent campaign to date last term, scoring six times in 40 appearances as the Black Cats beat the drop.

Wickham — a member of the victorious England under-17 side which won the 2010 European Championships — also had spells on loan at Sheffield Wednesday (twice) and Leeds United during his time in the north-east.

He becomes Eagles manager Alan Pardew’s fourth signing of the summer after the arrivals of midfielder Yohan Cabaye, goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and striker Patrick Bamford, who has moved to Selhurst Park on a loan deal from Chelsea.

By AFP