Pep Clotet has pulled off a smart move this deadline day, bringing in left-sided midfield player Alex Mowatt on loan from Barnsley after selling Marvin Johnson to Championship side Middlesbrough.
Mowatt came up through the Leeds United production line, moving out of the youth set-up and into first-team contention ahead of the 2013/14 Sky Bet Championship season. That season, as an 18/19-year-old, Mowatt featured in 29 games for the Whites, scoring once and setting up four goals via assists.
It was the following season that he sparked into top gear for Leeds with 38 appearances across the season and nine goals – many of these long-range goals struck with his wand of a left foot. Performance dropped the season after that and his 2015/16 campaign saw just the two goals and four assists.
It was obvious as last season started that Mowatt didn’t fit into Garry Monk’s plans and the youngster was sold to Barnsley after just 14 appearances for the Whites.
He didn’t have an auspicious start for the Tykes, given a straight red on his début. In the rest of the season after his three-game suspension, the former Leeds youngster only made 10 more appearances for the South Yorkshire club – scoring one goal in a 3-2 loss to Bristol City.
His move to Oxford brought the following response from Pep Clotet, who of course worked with the young midfielder at Elland Road.
“We were interested as soon as we found out there was a possibility of getting him because we feel he is a player who adds to our creative options. He can play in any position in the midfield and although he is still only 22 he has played well over 100 games in the Championship and has lots of experience for his age.”
As well as responses from the Oxford manager, there were also responses from Oxford United fans themselves.
Oxford United fans comment of Mowatt capture
Welcome to the shire💛💙 pic.twitter.com/NTVd6PI2Bz
— leftside (@leftsideandy64) August 31, 2017
— Reece Hill (@reecehill1995) August 31, 2017
— Ethan Fowler (@EthanFowler14) August 31, 2017
“one who wants to work hard and be part of what we are building” – says it all really (MJ)
— Neil🇸🇪🇧🇷🇪🇸🇨🇼 (@nobbyd) August 31, 2017
Yay a note loan
— Jay Woolford (@JayWooL_OUFC) August 31, 2017
@BAGREGORY65 good signing for us this is, isn’t it?
— marc gregory (@marcgregory1988) August 31, 2017
Leeds United fans were also quick to comment on the loan deal, many holding Mowatt still close to their hearts.
— Tim Hallas (@timhallas) August 31, 2017
You have a great player there. Don’t know why we sold him. He will tear League One apart.
— Sean (@seankuk) August 31, 2017
He’s gonna boss league one. Will do wonders under pep too !
— LUFCDANNY (@THELUFCLAD) August 31, 2017
@liamlaz I don’t know why we sold him tbh 😂 quality player!!! Got a top player there!!!
— Sam Harris (@SamHarris93) August 31, 2017
@Frenchy6819 this is a top signing! We sold him last year he has so much talent
— carl smith (@carlsmith_88) August 31, 2017
Barnsley fans were also on hand to give their views on the loan deal that took Mowatt away from Oakwell and down to the Kassam.
Hasnt worked for him with us #barnsleyfc at all so far. Good luck to him – hopefully same as Moncur going out & coming back much improved.
— Rob Pick (@robpickbfc) August 31, 2017
Good move for him to get the game time, hopefully he’ll come back a better player.
— Morgan Johnson (@bfcfan1) August 31, 2017
Hopefully finds his form with you guys there’s still a player in there somewhere
— Andy (@andybfc182) August 31, 2017
He must have something about him or hecky wouldn’t have got him hope he does well for you and comes back stronger #goodluckalex .
— freddy (@bfcfreddy) August 31, 2017