Championship promotion hopefuls Brentford have made a double swoop on deadline day and captured Oxford United duo Shandon Baptiste and Tariqe Fosu. The pair have been key to Oxford’s success this season, and losing two key players at this stage of the season could be a major blow for Karl Robinson’s side.
Brentford Sign Shandon Baptiste and Tariqe Fosu
Bitter Blow for the U’s
Baptiste and Fosu have been key players for the U’s this season. Baptiste, who is the product of the Oxford United Academy, burst onto the scene a couple of seasons ago but injury has hampered the midfielders progress.
On his day, he can be the best box-to-box midfielder in League One and had always been destined for bigger and better things.
Apart from the odd sparkle here and there, this is the first full season he has shown his potential. Relatively injury-free, the 21-year-old has scored four and provided four assists from 26 appearances, and performed well when involved in cup matches against Manchester City and Newcastle United.
As for Fosu, he arrived from Charlton Athletic in the summer and has made a blistering start to life at the club.
The winger rejected a new contract with the Addicks, who won promotion to the Championship, instead signing a deal with former manager Robinson at the U’s – who got the best out of him whilst manager at the Valley.
The 24-year-old has scored ten goals this season, providing five assists, and has been a key part to Oxford’s attacking success this season.
Life Without the Duo
For Oxford, losing two key players on deadline day could be a disaster, but they also have the depth to cope.
Having already brought in Nathan Holland and Marcus Browne during this window, the U’s have some quality wingers. Mark Sykes, James Henry and Ben Woodburn have all flourished when playing out wide.
As for Baptiste, Robinson still has at his disposal the likes of Cameron Brannagan, Henry, Sykes, George Thorne, Jamie Hanson, Alex Rodriguez Gorrin and Liam Kelly.