England youth international Ashley Smith-Brown admitted Oxford United’s reputation for bringing through youngsters was enough to entice him to the Kassam Stadium.
The 21-year-old left back joined on loan this week from Premier League leaders Manchester City on a deal until the end of the season.
With veteran Brazilian Ricardinho the only other left footed left back at the club Smith-Brown, who follows fellow City youngster Isaac Buckley-Ricketts to the club this transfer window, will provide a valuable option at full back.
The youngster wants to use his experience to develop in ways former U’s stars Kemar Roofe, Callum O’Dowda and John Lundstram have.
He said: “I’m looking forward to it. Oxford has a good reputation for helping young players like me learn and develop so it is a fantastic opportunity.
“There are a lot of really good players here and I can’t wait to train for the first time and hopefully be involved at Charlton on Saturday.”
Capped at England level from the Under-16s through to the Under-20s, Smith-Brown has been on the club’s radar for a while.
The Manchester man was the fourth and latest to join the club this January transfer window ahead of Wednesday’s 11pm deadline, after we went to press.
This week has also seen out of favour centre back Charlie Raglan join League Two side Port Vale on loan until the end of the season and Spanish midfielder Xemi leave the club.
Xemi joined United last summer from Barcelona and made eight starts and six sub appearances for the U’s, scoring twice. But regular first team football has proven elusive and his contract was terminated on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old said: “It hasn’t worked out here and I’m sad to be leaving because it is a fantastic club.
“But at the same time I want to be playing football and that means a new adventure for me elsewhere, which is exciting.”
Interim boss Derek Fazakerley admitted a lack of manager has made this transfer window more challenging than normal.
The club has been tight-lipped over who is in the running to replace Pep Clotet, who was sacked last week.
Frank Lampard remains the bookies’ favourite but, like former U’s boss Michael Appleton, has publically distanced himself from reports saying he was in talks about the vacant manager’s job.
United are back in league action on Saturday away to seventh place Charllton Athletic.