Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Two New Additions, Cameron Brannagan and Derby Defeat

Oxford United

Oxford United kicked off their League One campaign with defeat on the road against Derby County.

Elsewhere this week, the U’s welcomed two new additions but saw the departure of a versatile player. There was also a dramatic scenario surrounding key midfielder, Cameron Brannagan.

Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Two In, One Out, One Loss

U’s Sign Former Cardiff City Winger

Oxford United began the week by adding to their squad with the addition of former Cardiff City and Norwich City winger, Josh Murphy following his release from the Bluebirds in the summer.

The 27-year-old made the switch from Carrow Road to Wales in an Β£11 million transfer in 2018 and turned out 99 times for the Bluebirds.

The winger also played under U’s boss Karl Robinson when he joined MK Dons on loan. He scored seven times and laid on ten assists from 46 matches.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Murphy said: β€œI have been here for a week or so and everything about the club is so impressive.

“The gaffer plays exciting football and I think that will suit the way I like to play.

“There are some very, very good players here and it’s great to be involved and I’m looking forward to it, starting with the game at Derby on Saturday.”

Robinson added: β€œHe is a phenomenal talent and hopefully he can come here, get a run of games together and really show everyone what he can do.

“He creates opportunities, he works hard and I think he is a player the fans are really going to like watching.”

Blackpool ‘Set to Sign’ Oxford UnitedΒ  Midfielder

Thursday was a dramatic day. It began when Championship club Blackpool triggered the release clause in Cameron Brannagan’s contract, according to the Oxford Mail.

The Seasiders, who showed interest in the midfielder throughout last season, were believed to have met the club’s seven-figure fee.

Brannagan joined the U’s in January 2018 and has scored 29 goals in 188 appearances. The midfielder has been one of Karl Robinson’s most consistent players so the risk of losing him just two days before their league opener at Derby County certainly put some gloom around the place.

Forde Joins Wrexham

Oxford United’s Anthony Forde then joined National League outfit Wrexham for an undisclosed fee.

The versatile Irishman made 93 appearances for the club following his arrival from Rotherham United in 2019.

The 28-year-old covered several positions for the club, with right-back becoming his most successful role during his three years at Grenoble Road.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Oxford boss Karl Robinson said: β€œFordey is one of the nicest people you would ever wish to meet and an excellent professional.

“We will be sad to see him go but he deserves to be playing matches and showing what a good player he is.

“At the same time Sam Long has kept Fordey out of the team and been really consistent and young James Golding was outstanding there in a friendly this week.

“We will look at all of the other options, but we certainly wish Fordey the best of luck for the future.”

Three-Year Deal for Brannagan

Despite reports claiming he travelled to the North West and held talks with Blackpool after his release clause was met, Brannagan returned to Oxford and penned a new three-year deal.

U’s fans looked resigned to losing the influential midfielder but by the end of the day, the mood had quickly changed.

It was a major boost for Oxford ahead of the League One opener against Derby County at the weekend.

Jodi Jones Becomes Latest Arrival

Following his release from Coventry City, Oxford welcomed winger Jodi Jones on a 12-month deal with the option of an additional year.

The 24-year-old has been involved with the U’s for much of pre-season and could be a shrewd addition by the club.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Karl Robinson said: β€œHe has been so unlucky with injuries in his career. There were certainly a lot of clubs looking at him because he is a very exciting player and they could see the potential.

“He is still only 24 and the potential is still there. He has worked hard to get himself fit and been very impressive this summer, so we are happy to have him here and he will add something a little different for us up front.”

Jones added: β€œI’ve really enjoyed pre-season. It has been hard work but that is what I needed, to test myself and to get myself fit again.

“I feel good, I feel strong and I want to thank everyone here for helping me settle in and for giving me this chance to show what I can do.”

Oxford United Lose At Derby

The U’s lost their League One opener with a 1-0 defeat at Derby County.

Oxford failed to create too many chances against the Rams and conceded what proved to be the winner just ten minutes from time.

There’s a long way to go and they’ll be looking to bounce back next week at home to Cambridge United.