Oxford United today confirmed the signing of Sheffield United goalkeeper George Long on a loan deal until January. The 20-year-old will join Michael Appleton’s side as competition for kiwi Max Crocombe with regular number one Ryan Clarke expected to be out until November at the earliest as he recovers from an operation on his foot.
Long made 31 appearances for Nigel Clough’s side last season whilst also earning a number of call-ups to the England U21 squad after previously travelling to the 2013 U20 World Cup in Turkey. With Clough stating that former Arsenal trainee Mark Howard will start the season as his number one, Long has been allowed to exit Bramall Lane on a temporary basis to get further more first team experience.
U’s boss Michael Appleton told the official club website, “He is tall, he communicates well and likes to command his box. We need competition for every place in the side and with Ryan Clarke still on crutches we now have two good young keepers in George and Max Crocombe who will push each other all the way.”
On his move to the Kassam Stadium, Long said “As a goalkeeper you are always looking to learn and gain experience and I think this will be a fantastic opportunity.”
Long is likely to make his debut in Oxford’s friendly with Wolves on Tuesday night.