It has been another remarkable week for Oxford United as Liam Manning’s side continued their good form to move to the top of League One.
Also this week, with the transfer window coming to a close, a U’s defender was linked with a move to a Premier League club before Manning welcomed two new faces at Grenoble Road.
Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Top of the League and Two New Additions
Defender Being Monitored By Premier League Club
Oxford defender Stephan Negru is being monitored by Premier League outfit, Brighton, according to Mark McCadden.
The 21-year-old, who only joined the club in January, has showcased his potential with some impressive displays in the absence of Jordan Thorniley.
McCadden adds that Brighton are continuing their pursuit of Derby County defender, Eiran Cashin. However, the Seagulls have been chasing the Ireland U21 centre back all summer and have failed to reach an agreement with the Rams.
As a result, the south coast club have sent scouts to watch Negru in action for Oxford and are said to be impressed with his early season form.
Oxford United Winger Ruled Out With Injury
Oxford will be without winger Marcus Browne for “a few months”, Liam Manning has confirmed.
The U’s wide man was forced off in the first half during Oxford’s win over Barnsley last week and the results of the scan have come back.
Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Manning said: “It wasn’t great news on Marcus. He’s going to be out for a few months, so we’re not going to see him for a little while.
“It’s a blow for him because I can’t speak highly enough in terms of how much he’s progressed, and his professionalism and how he’s gone about his gym work, how he’s taken care of his body and how he’s trained.
“It’s just really unfortunate for him. He’d got himself into a good spot and was contributing massively to the team.
“I’m gutted for him first and foremost, and gutted for the team because of what he’d been bringing recently.”
U’s Make Ninth Summer Signing
Manning the. boosted his defensive options with the arrival of Greg Leigh from Ipswich Town.
The 28-year-old, who only joined the Tractor Boys last summer, became the club’s ninth summer signing after joining for an undisclosed fee.
“It’s really exciting. It’s been a difficult, long process but it’s good to get it over the line,” Leigh told the U’s website.
“He’s [Liam Manning] a big attraction for players signing. Having a manager who has a good philosophy and a way of doing things that’s proven to be successful is a big attraction.”
Manning added: “Greg is a really accomplished left back and a terrific character. He brings that balance down the left, has had success at this level and knows the division.
“With Ciaron Brown doing so well there, we now have serious competition in that position, which will be another big positive for us.”
U’s Chasing Hull Winger
Oxford United’s pursuit of Hull City winger Ryan Longman has been confirmed after a report in the Hull Daily Mail suggested that the 22-year-old has “attracted interest” from the U’s.
Longman held talks with Turkish Süper Lig club, Fatih Karigumruk, but opted against a move to pursue a transfer to another English club.
The winger has been requested permission to leave by manager Liam Rosenior as he is unable to guarantee him enough game time.
Longman joined the Tigers on a season-long loan from Brighton before penning a permanent deal in January 2022. He has turned out 73 times for the club, scoring seven and adding five assists. However, he is yet to make an appearance this season despite being on the bench for their opening two Championship fixtures.
Leeds Striker Joins Oxford United
On Friday, the Athletic’s Phil Hay reported that Oxford were “set to sign” Leeds striker, Sonny Perkins, on a season-long loan. A few hours later, they landed their man.
The 19-year-old, who made the move to Elland Road from West Ham last summer, made four senior appearances for Leeds, scoring once in an FA tie at Cardiff.
Perkins made an instant impression for Leeds’ U21 side, scoring 13 times in 24 appearances. He has also been capped at various youth levels for England.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Perkins said: “As soon as the move was mentioned I did some homework, and the way Oxford set up and want to play is really appealing.
“They have started the season strongly, the manager is really impressive and I can’t wait to get started.
“It’s been a crazy 24 hours. I have been in conversation with the club for a couple of weeks. I spoke to the manager and that was a big part of me coming here.
“I am excited to be here to play regular league football and learn what it takes to be a regular at this level.”
Manning added: “He is a very exciting talent, with the ability to play as a striker or across any of the front positions.
“He is clever with the ball and has scored goals at every level. It has been another very positive week with Greg Leigh and now Sonny joining us.”
Four Wins From Four With Victory Over the Addicks
Oxford ended the week with a fourth successive league win for the first time since January 2021.
A Tyler Goodrham brace against Charlton Athletic earned the U’s a 2-1 win at Grenoble Road.
It was a brilliant solo effort from the academy graduate to give Oxford a first-half head but despite their first-half dominance, the U’s conceded after the restart. However, the youngster netted a late winner after a brilliant counter attack.
The result leaves Oxford top of the table after their opening five games.