Oxford United have announced Joel Cooper as their first summer signing. The 24-year-old joins the U’s for an undisclosed fee having joined from Linfield.
The Northern Irishman becomes the third player in two years to join from the NIFL after Gavin Whyte and Mark Sykes also made the switch to the League One side.
Oxford United Sign Linfield Winger Joel Cooper
First Summer Signing
Cooper has had a solid season for Linfield, where he netted 13 goals and provided 17 assists as he won the championship for a second successive season.
He made 70 appearances for Glenavon before making the switch to Linfield, where he turned out 82 times. During his time at Linfield, Cooper won the Danske Bank Premiership in consecutive seasons.
For U’s boss Karl Robinson, it will be a relief to get involved in the transfer market from an early opportunity. Although the U’s are expecting to see Rob Dickie leave in the not so distant future, the Oxford boss will need to rebuild, and this is a good start.
What Was Said
Speaking to the club’s official website, Robinson said: “He is a real talent. He has pace and creates chances for others as well as scoring so it’s an exciting signing.
“People talk about the step up to full-time football but we have shown with Gavin Whyte and Mark Sykes that players can make that step provided they have the right help and the right mentality and it is great to have Joel with us when we report back for pre-season.”
Speaking in his first interview for the club, Cooper said: “I’ve seen the way that Oxford help players develop and this feels like a great move for me.
“I want to thank everyone back home, especially everyone at Linfield; it was a big decision to make the move to Oxford but I know I have made the right choice and I can’t wait to get started.”