Sunderland boss Steve Bruce believes the Black Cats' capture of Connor Wickham proves they are a force to be reckoned with.[LNB] The Black Cats pieced together a package which could be worth as much as £12million in order to lure England Under-21 starlet Wickham away from Ipswich.[LNB]His signing is seen to be a show of intent from Sunderland, as they look to become an established top-half side in the Premier League.[LNB]Seeing off competition from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham to land Wickham suggests they are heading in the right direction.[LNB]Bruce certainly believes they are, and is tipping his latest recruit to be a resounding success on Wearside.[LNB]He said: "The signing of Connor Wickham is a statement of intent by Sunderland.[LNB]"It is a bold signing that shows we are building for the future.[LNB]"There were a lot of clubs tracking him, but we were the ones who were prepared to meet Ipswich's valuation.[LNB]"It is also a testament to our progress as a club that Connor wanted to come here. I am sure he will be a big hit with the fans."[LNB]Bruce has already spent around £20million this summer on Wickham, Craig Gardner, Sebastian Larsson, Keiren Westwood and Ji Dong-Won, but hopes to add further fresh faces to his ranks before the 2011/12 campaign gets underway.[LNB]"I'm absolutely delighted that we've been able to get so many players in ahead of returning for pre-season training," he said.[LNB]"We've brought in what are five quality new signings and of course also made (Ahmed) Elmohamady's loan a permanent deal - and hopefully there'll be more."