Signal of intent from Robinson as Brannagan signs new deal
Oxford United manager Karl Robinson has laid bare his expectations for the forthcoming Sky Bet League One campaign after star midfielder Cameron Brannagan signed a two-year contract extension earlier today - a deal which includes a £2.8m release clause should Oxford fail to secure promotion to the Championship.
The former Liverpool U23s captain, who made his professional debut under Jurgen Klopp as a substitute in The Reds' 1-1 draw with Bordeaux in the Europa League back in 2015, signed for Oxford in January 2018 and has earned widespread praise for his performances, even winning the club's Players' Player of the Year award at the end of last season.
Manager Karl Robinson has stressed the importance of Brannagan to the squad after the new deal was signed earlier today and believes that the 23-year-old could play at a higher level, with the non-promotion release clause indicative of Robinson's ambitions for the season.
"Cam's a great lad to have around the club, he puts in a great shift every day in training and just oozes class when he's out on the pitch.
We're delighted to have him around for a little while longer because I do feel like he's good enough for the Championship right now so for us to tie him down to another year is huge.
We believe that we've got a squad strong enough to help him get to the Championship for next season so we'll try to deliver on that and see how we get on."
One of the new faces at Oxford this transfer window is Brannagan's former Liverpool teammate and current Wales international Ben Woodburn - the two will even share a house for the coming year until Woodburn's loan contract ends.
Woodburn is one of eight new signings for The U's this summer as they look to strengthen their squad for a potential promotion battle, alongside former Charlton winger Tarique Fosu, Motherwell's
industrious midfielder Alex Gorrin, and towering 6 ft 5 defender Elliot Moore (signed from Leicester for £250,000).
Returning local boy Matty Taylor (infamous for his switch from Bristol Rovers to fierce rivals Bristol City) also returns to his boyhood club on loan with a point to prove up front, young Burnley striker Dan Agyei, Rotherham's Irish winger Anthony Forde, one-time Scotland internation Chris Cadden on loan from MLS side Columbus Crew and Derby County's George Thorne, who is currently sidelined with a calf strain and will miss the season opener at Sunderland.