Martin O'Neill has revealed that Connor Wickham will not be leaving Sunderland on loan, despite admitting a temporary move would be beneficial for the striker.
The 19-year-old has made just one substitute appearance for the Black Cats so far this season, coming off the bench for two minutes of the 2-1 loss to Everton on Saturday.
O’Neill revealed that “a number” of clubs are interested in Connor, but a busy schedule and niggling injuries to fellow forwards Steven Fletcher and James McFadden would make a loan deal inadvisable.
"A number of clubs have asked about him and we've already sent David Meyler out on loan to Hull City at this moment," he told reporters. "We don't have the biggest squad in the world.
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"So we just don't have the numbers at this moment.
"Plus the fact that now, at this particular stage, it might be difficult because we have about seven games coming up in the next month, and we just can't afford that."
Sunderland travel to Craven Cottage on Sunday in search of their first away win of the season and improve on their current standing on 16th in the Premier League table, having drawn four times and lost twice on the road.