Oxford delight as ‘real talent’ Joel Cooper wraps up move from Linfield

Oxford United manager Karl Robinson has described Joel Copper as ‘a real talent’ following confirmation of his transfer from Linfield.

Linfield's Joel Cooper. Pic by Pacemaker.
Linfield's Joel Cooper. Pic by Pacemaker.

Cooper has made his dream switch across the water from the Danske Bank Premiership champions for “an undisclosed fee” following successful negotiations this week between the League One outfit and Irish League side.

“He is a real talent,” Robinson told the official Oxford United website. “He has pace and creates chances for others as well as scoring so it’s an exciting signing.

“People talk about the step up to full-time football but we have shown with Gavin Whyte and Mark Sykes that players can make that step provided they have the right help and the right mentality and it is great to have Joel with us when we report back for pre-season.”

Oxford have previously handed chances to Whyte and Sykes from Irish League football and Cooper heads to England fresh from a strong season in Linfield colours including 13 goals and 17 assists.

“I’ve seen the way that Oxford help players develop and this feels like a great move for me,” said Cooper on the club website in celebration of his three-year deal. “I want to thank everyone back home, especially everyone at Linfield; it was a big decision to make the move to Oxford but I know I have made the right choice and I can’t wait to get started.”

Linfield boss David Healy described Cooper’s time at Windsor Park as “a major contribution”.

“I want to thank Joel for the major contribution he made to our successes over the past couple of years,” said Healy on the official club website. “He was a brilliant lad to work with and he was a very popular player both in the changing room and with our supporters as well.

“His consistent and excellent performances in our team have earned him this exciting move to Oxford and we all want to wish him every success and happiness as he embarks on this next important chapter in his football career.

“We have every confidence that he will make the most of this terrific opportunity that has come his way and of course we will watch his progress with close interest.

“He leaves us with many memories of exciting wing play, goals and assists and we want to place on record our appreciation for all his efforts in the service of his club.”

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