Oxford United manager Michael Appleton has signed Charlton Athletic youngster Tareiq Holmes-Dennis on a youth loan.
The 18 year old left back signed a three year professional contract with The Addicks in October 2013 and his temporary move to the Kassam Stadium is seen as the next step in his football education.
Holmes-Dennis has been at Charlton since the age of 9 and has most recently established himself in the club’s Under 21 side which has featured the likes of Chris Solly, Callum Harriott and Nick Pope who have all gone on to make the step up to the first team.
When speaking to the Oxford Mail about his new signing, Appleton, whose side lost 5-1 in their televised game at Cambridge last Saturday, said
“Something I’ve been trying to do for a while is to get a lot of competition in all the areas of the squad to rule out any complacency.”
He went on to say,
“Tareiq will give us lots of energy, a lot of people in the game that I’ve spoken to speak very highly of the kid.”
Described as a ‘confident, composed left-back by trade’, Dennis-Holmes told the club’s official website:
“I think it’s a great opportunity for me. I have heard a lot about the way Oxford like to play football and I want to come in, train hard and hopefully play as many first team games as I can.”
It may now be the case that Appleton has to shift a couple of players out on loan with the likes of Alfie Potter, David Hunt and Jon Meades not making the match-day squad in recent weeks. The arrival of Dennis-Holmes also brings the total number of loan players at Oxford to six with only five allowed in a match-day squad. Goalkeeper George Long may be the one to leave the club, with the young Sheffield United goalkeeper losing his place to fit again Ryan Clarke whist Norwich City striker Carlton Morris played for his parent side in an Under 21 game against Spurs this week, getting on the score sheet in the process.
Appleton will hope that his new recruit can make an immediate impact in Saturday’s game against the only side below United in the table – Tranmere Rovers. Tranmere are expected to have officially announced Micky Adams as their new manager before Saturday’s match and come into the game off the back of a home defeat to Plymouth Argyle. Oxford have a good recent record at the Kassam Stadium with 7 points from 9 and will be looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s disaster and make home advantage count in what must surely by considered an early season six pointer.