Five Josh Murphy Replacements For Oxford United – Opinion

Oxford United have been left with work to do after winger Josh Murphy opted to leave the Championship side in favour of a switch to Portsmouth, but who could the football club turn to as a replacement?

The 29-year-old scored a brace at Wembley Stadium to clinch Oxford’s return to the second tier, beating Ian Evatt’s Bolton Wanderers but will now be applying his trade at Fratton Park rather than the Kassam Stadium.

Murphy joined Oxford United in the summer of 2022 on a free transfer from Championship outfit Cardiff City and spent two years with the football club.

During that time, the winger made 62 first-team appearances for the club and contributed to a total of 19 goals including two to seal the club’s promotion in what turned out to be his final outing for Oxford.

The Deck’s Callum Moseley spoke to Oxford United fan page ‘Talk Oxford’ who stated this in regard to how Murphy’s exit will impact the club…

‘Only a few months ago in December a large portion of Oxford fans would have been glad to see Josh go, so while his up turn in form + experience would’ve been a top asset in the championship, he’s far from irreplaceable.

‘Just means another hole needs filling in an already very busy summer window.’

With that being said, let’s take a look at five potential options that Oxford could consider as a replacement for Murphy…

Karamoko Dembele

Potentially the most likely pick from this list, English winger Karamoko Dembele is facing an uncertain future following his successful loan spell with Blackpool last season.

The 21-year-old made 47 appearances in England last season, scoring nine goals as well as providing 14 assists as the club missed out on a play-off place.

Dembele can feature as a winger on either side or an attacking midfielder, which would bolster their squad options next season.

Social media reports seem to suggest that the winger could be a free agent this summer, which would drastically decrease the fees involved which would benefit Oxford given they didn’t receive a penny from Murphy’s exit.

Danny Armstrong

Potentially a dark horse, but one player that is cruising in the Scottish Premiership is Kilmarnock winger Danny Armstrong.

The 26-year-old made 47 appearances in all competitions during the previous campaign, scoring nine goals and providing 14 additional assists.

Armstrong is naturally a right-winger but is left-footed and has experience on the left-hand side.

TransferMarkt values the winger at £1.5 million, but the opportunity to bring Armstrong back to England could prove to be too difficult to turn down.

Femi Azeez

With the situation at Reading still up in the air, winger Femi Azeez is likely to find himself in the presence of several interested sides this summer and Oxford should be one of them.

The 23-year-old has spent the last two years within the Royals first-team and made a total of 52 appearances during the 2023/24 campaign, scoring nine times and providing an additional nine assists.

Azeez can operate on either side of the pitch as well as through the middle, further improving the versatility within Des Buckingham’s side.

According to TransferMarkt, Azeez is about to enter the final 12 months of his contract in League One and could be available for a reduced price this summer.

Ryan Longman

One player who could be available for either a loan or buy deal is Hull City winger Ryan Longman, who has recently returned following a loan stint with Championship rivals Millwall.

The winger made 36 appearances in all competitions last season for Millwall, scoring three goals and providing three additional assists.

Longman is naturally a left-winger but can also operate on the right-hand side or through the middle.

The 23-year-old was shipped out on loan last season and a repeat could occur again this summer and moving back South could prove to be too tough to turn down.

Jesurun Rak-Sakyi

My final option could be an exciting one for Oxford United in the form of Crystal Palace winger Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, who is likely to be available on loan this summer.

He made eight appearances for the Eagles last season, including six in the Premier League and has previously excelled on loan with Charlton Athletic.

Rak-Sakyi can operate on either side of the pitch or as an attacking midfielder if required.

The 21-year-old has previously attracted the interest of Portsmouth so is likely to be a player known to Oxford United and the player’s current location could imply this deal would have a strong chance of occurring.

Oxford fans, would you take any of these as a replacement for Josh Murphy?

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