The England U21 international, who spent time with Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the season, is back at the Stadium of Light after seeing a stint at Leeds United cut short.
He was thrown straight back into Premier League action on Wednesday, with Gus Poyet offering him a starting role in a 2-1 defeat at title-chasing Liverpool.
Wickham is delighted to be involved again at the highest level, having struggled to hold down a regular role following a big-money move in 2011, and admits he is looking to kick on from this point and prove his worth.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "It's what I came here originally to do but, unfortunately, it didn't happen.
"Whether it's two years down the line or three years down the line, I'm here now and in the squad. It's an opportunity for me to stay in the team. If I can score a few goals, then good.
"The manager called me back and said I was going to be in his plans and more involved.
"It's positive coming back and if I get the chance to play football, hopefully it works well. He told me I was going to be involved at Anfield, which was a massive lift to me.
"I've said from day one that I just want to play football.
"He let me go on loan, I got the games I needed to get fit and now he's brought me back. Hopefully I can get on a roll and start performing."
Wickham's willingness to head out on loan denied him the opportunity to grace a Wembley cup final, as Sunderland lost to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup, but the youngster claims game time is of greater importance to him than a bit-part role at a club pushing for major honours.
He added: "It wasn't a hard decision for me at all to go before the cup final because I knew I wasn't going to be involved.
"Regardless of whether I'm playing at Wembley or anywhere else in the country, I don't care. I just want to play football.
"For me, it was a personal decision to go on loan and the manager let me go."