Manchester United’s Joe Rothwell signs for Oxford United

by Sam Peoples

Oxford United have confirmed the signing of Joe Rothwell from Manchester United on a two-year deal.

The 21-year-old midfielder had a cruel few years in Man United’s academy as a spout of injuries and illnesses made it impossible for him to regularly hold a place in Warren Joyce’s U21s side.

He suffered the same fate on loan at Blackpool last season and subsequently had to be re-called after a bout of tonsilitis cut his time there short. Due to all of those problems, Rothwell’s progression in United’s academy stalled and this move to Oxford doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, even if it is a real shame.

Alongside Ben Pearson, Rothwell was a box-to-box midfielder who I really enjoyed watching. When on-form, he was a cracking player but we rarely got to see that for any extended period of time and he only made 38 appearances for United’s U19s and U21s in the last three years.

That now means two players have left United’s academy on Tuesday following the departure of Tyler Reid to Swansea City on a permanent deal.

Hopefully Joe can overcome his injury and illness problems at Oxford and go on to make a solid career for himself in the Football League. We wish him all the best of luck.

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