‘Could be the difference in a promotion challenge’ – Oxford linked with audacious transfer for 57-cap England international: The verdict | OneFootball

‘Could be the difference in a promotion challenge’ – Oxford linked with audacious transfer for 57-cap England international: The verdict

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Football League World

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Oxford United have been named as one of a number of League One clubs pursuing the signature of ex-England international Jermain Defoe, according to Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie.

The 39-year-old is a free agent having left Rangers last week following a three-year stint in Scotland, and there are a host of teams interested in signing Defoe until the end of the season.

His former clubs Sunderland and Charlton Athletic are two of those, but Oxford are perhaps a wildcard option but like the other aforementioned outfits are in the third tier promotion race.

Quiz: Have each of these 25 ex-Oxford United players ever played in the Premier League?

1 of 25

Emiliano Martinez?

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Would Defoe be a good signing for the U’s though and is he a realistic target? The FLW writers have had their say…

Chris Gallagher

This would be an excellent signing.

Obviously, at 39 you can’t expect Defoe to play every minute of every game but he would still be able to make a big impact on the team.

Plus, a side like the U’s that play good football should be able to create chances for him and you would still back the former England man to be a ruthless finisher in front of goal.

As well as scoring goals, Defoe’s influence on the team could be massive off the pitch.

This is a player who has seen it all in the game, he has won titles, cups and been in relegation battles, and that experience will help the squad as the pressure builds in the chase for promotion.

So, this would be a real coup for Oxford and it’s a deal that they should be going all out to finalise if it’s at all possible.

Toby Wilding

This could be a very useful signing for Oxford if they are able to pull it off.

Karl Robinson’s side are not exactly stacked with centre forward options at the minute, and there does seem to be some reliance on Matty Taylor to get the goals among the strikers at the minute.

As a result, another centre forward could be a smart piece of business for Oxford, and Defoe is someone who has shown on a consistent basis throughout his career that he knows exactly where the net is.

You feel therefore, that his signing could be a big boost to Oxford’s hopes of promotion this season, not just thanks to that ability, but his vast experience and insight that could help others around the club cope with the pressure of this promotion race.

With plenty of interest from elsewhere in League One, this could be something of a coup for Oxford as well, so it does look to be one worth pursuing for those in charge at the Kassam Stadium.

George Dagless

I honestly think any top-half side in League One that gets Jermain Defoe in will suddenly have a huge chance of sealing a spot in the Championship for next year.

Yes, he is 40 later this year but he plays and performs to a fine level regardless and that is testament to his professionalism and the way he has looked after himself for so long.

He might not play every game in the cut and thrust of the League One run-in but use him in the right moments and in the big games and you’ve got a player who put simply could be the difference in a promotion challenge.

He’s not lost that goal-scoring touch in the box and if he still has the hunger to play, which it sounds like he does, then I genuinely think it’s a no-brainer for Oxford, Sunderland or anyone else that thinks they can get him.

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