Oxford United Deadline Day Round-Up: Three Arrivals and No Departures

Oxford United

With not a single signing during the January transfer window, Oxford United fans were well aware that deadline day would bring some drama.

Last week, the U’s lost three players. Defender Jordan Thorniley was recalled from his loan spell by Blackpool before Joel Cooper joined Port Vale on loan. Then, striker Dan Agyei departed the club on a permanent basis when he joined Crewe Alexandra.

But, the U’s arguably replaced those three players and more on Monday with three new additions to the squad.

Oxford United Deadline Day Round-Up

Return of Marcus Browne

One player constantly linked with a return to Oxford was midfielder Marcus Browne. The 24-year-old hasn’t played for Middlesbrough since January as a result of injury but the former two-time U’s loanee has returned to Grenoble Road, this time on a permanent basis.

The former West Ham United man signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, with the option of an additional 12 months, for an undisclosed fee.

Browne netted 14 times in 60 appearances during his previous spells with the club and Oxford fans will be delighted to welcome him back.

Young Northern Irish Midfielder Follows the Trend

In recent seasons, Oxford United have enjoyed bringing players over from the other side of the Irish Sea.

In 2018, Gavin Whyte left Northern Irish football to join the U’s, with Mark Sykes, Joel Cooper and Luke McNally all following in successive transfer windows.

Now, the latest in the trend in Northern Ireland U21 international Oisin Smyth, who joined the club on a three-and-a-half-year deal from Dungannon Swifts.

Karl Robinson has described the midfielder as “one for the future” but it’s another exciting addition for the U’s.

Cardiff City Centre-Back Makes it Three

Following the departure of Thorniley, a new left-sided central defender was clearly a priority. However, the U’s left it late to get this deal done.

Cardiff City defender Ciaron Brown became the third and final signing of the transfer window. The 24-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, has joined the U’s on loan and will provide defensive cover.

Bids Rejected

Cameron Brannagan to Blackpool has been the constant story throughout this transfer window but when Oxford rejected recent bids, it felt like the saga was over.

But no – the Seasiders had not just another one, but two more offers for the midfielder. First, it was believed to be around £800,000 before returning with their first seven-figure bid of the window with a £1 million offer.

Despite the offers, the club stood firm and rejected both, even with rumours suggesting that Thorniley was still part of the deal.

With Brannagan staying put, there was a late scare when Football Insider claimed that League One rivals had bid for Mark Sykes.

The 24-year-old, who has also attracted Championship interest this season, is out of contract in the summer but the U’s aren’t willing to cash in on the midfielder.

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