Struggling Sunderland have recalled striker Connor Wickham from his loan spell at Leeds as head coach Gus Poyet searches desperately for firepower.
The 20-year-old completed a temporary move to Elland Road last month, but the Black Cats have confirmed he is heading back to Wearside and available for Wednesday night’s tough Barclays Premier League trip to Liverpool.
His return comes with loan signing Fabio Borini ineligible to play against his parent club, Steven Fletcher awaiting news of his ankle injury and summer signing Jozy Altidore out of form.
A club spokesman said: “Striker Connor Wickham is to return to Sunderland after being recalled from his loan spell with Championship side Leeds United.
“The 20-year-old will be available for the Black Cats’ trip to Anfield on Wednesday evening, with on-loan Liverpool striker Fabio Borini unable to face his parent club due to league rules.”
Wickham, who joined Sunderland from Ipswich for an initial £8.1million in June 2011, has found himself a peripheral figure for much of his time to date at the Stadium of Light.
However, he scored eight goals in 11 appearances for Sky Bet Championship Sheffield Wednesday on loan during the first half of the campaign, although he has not registered in five games for Leeds.