Oxford United manager Michael Appleton has wasted no time at all in replacing injured striker Will Hoskins. It was announced earlier today that Hoskins looks likely to be out of action until January after departing the pitch on a stretcher in Saturday’s game against Southend. With an operation likely to be needed on a groin injury, Appleton has reinforced his striking options with the signing of Peterborough striker Tyrone Barnett on a 93 day loan.
Barnett almost joined the U’s on transfer deadline day but the move fell through late on with suspected interest from a League One club believed to be behind the collapse. However, the 28 year-old has now joined Appleton’s side on loan until mid December, the maximum amount of time currently allowed in a loan deal outside of the main transfer window.
Having begun his career at West Bromwich Albion, Barnett will have come across Appleton and U’s chief executive Mark Ashton during his time at The Hawthorns. He left West Brom after being released without the offer of a professional contract and spent fruitful spells at Rushall Olympic, Willenhall Town and Hednesford Town before joining then League Two side Macclesfield Town in May 2010. 13 goals in 45 appearances saw him named player of the year and a move to heavy spending Crawley Town followed at the end of the 2010/11 season. Fifteen goals before the end of February for Crawley alerted Championship side Peterborough and he joined ‘The Posh’ on loan before agreeing a permanent move in the summer for a fee of £1.1m.
A quiet spell on the goals front followed with Barnett struggling to make an impact in The Championship with one goal in 21 appearances in 2012/13 as Peterborough were relegated. Five goals in 11 appearances came at the start of the new season before joining fellow League One side Bristol City on loan for the rest of the season in January.
Having spent the whole summer on the transfer list, the 6ft 3in centre-forward has only featured in a few sub appearances for Darren Ferguson’s men and has been allowed to join Oxford in a boost to Appleton whose side have struggled for goals so far this season in a winless six opening games. Speaking about his new man’s arrival, Appleton told the official club website:
“Tyrone is a proven goalscorer at this level…He is a strong lad, has pace and is always going to cause defences problems. We are delighted that he is here and we are really looking forward to working with him.”
Barnett will go straight into the squad for Saturday’s home game against Exeter City, the only team to sit below Oxford in the table.