In a week where the transfer window opened, Oxford United saw one in and one out. Ryan Williams became the club’s second signing of the summer, arriving on a free transfer after leaving Portsmouth, but the U’s lost defender Josh Ruffels to Huddersfield Town as he penned a two-year deal with the Championship club.
Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: One In and One Out as Transfer Window Opens
Josh Ruffels Departs
As expected, Oxford-born defender Josh Ruffels has departed the club. The 27-year-old was out of contract in the summer and had previously rejected a new offer by his hometown club.
Ruffels came through the ranks at Coventry City and made two appearances for the Sky Blues before signing for Oxford under Chris Wilder at the start of the 2013/14 season.
Since, he has gone on to make 318 appearances for the club. However, his best form came under Karl Robinson, where the converted defender turned out 156 times.
Ruffels was part of the side under Michael Appleton that won promotion from League Two in 2016. He also featured at Wembley on three occasions but lost in the Football League Trophy final against Barnsley and Coventry before defeat in the League One play-off final against Wycombe Wanderers.
Ryan Williams Returns
Someone who also joined the U’s in the 2013/14 season was Australian winger, Ryan Williams. The then 19-year-old arrived on a season-long loan from Fulham.
During his loan spell, Williams hit the net eight times as the U’s just missed out on a League Two playoff spot following Chris Wilder’s departure to Northampton Town.
The winger would later achieve promotion from League One with both Barnsley and Rotherham United before returning to Portsmouth, where he has played since 2019.
But, like Ruffels, Williams was out of contract in the summer and the 27-year-old rejected a new offer, opening up a move to Oxford.
Ellis Harrison Linked With U’s Move in Opening Week of Transfer Window
Another player that could be swapping Fratton Park for Grenoble Road is Portsmouth forward, Ellis Harrison, according to BBC South reporter Andrew Moon.
The 27-year-old has one year left on his Pompey contract but the U’s have identified him as a potential transfer target.
Capped by Wales at U21 level, Harrison netted four goals from 25 League One fixtures this season.
He joined Portsmouth in 2019 after one season at Ipswich Town, but the forward made a name for himself during seven years at Bristol Rovers.
During his time at the Memorial Stadium, Harrison played alongside U’s striker Matty Taylor and was part of the Gas side that win back to back promotions from the Conference to League One.