“Would be somewhat disappointing” – West Brom in transfer battle for Oxford United man

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

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West Brom are among six clubs vying for the signing of Josh Murphy from Oxford United this summer.

According to The Sun, the Baggies are one of the Championship sides interested in the winger.

However, Carlos Corberan’s side faces competition from the likes of Southampton, QPR, Sunderland and Hull City in the race for his signature.

Josh Murphy’s importance to Oxford United

The 29-year-old has contributed six goals and four assists from 25 appearances in the third tier this season (stats from Fbref).

Josh Murphy – Oxford United league goals and appearances (per Fbref.com)


Appearances (Starts)

Goals (Assists)


23 (10)

0 (3)


25 (15)

6 (4)

The winger has been an important part of the U’s competing for a play-off place this campaign, but his contract is set to expire this June.

This means he will be available as a free agent unless a contract renewal can be agreed, but if Championship clubs are lurking then it’s going to be hard for Des Buckingham to convince the ex-Norwich City man to remain at the Kassam Stadium.

Should West Brom be moving for Josh Murphy this summer?

Here we ask our FLW writers their verdict on whether Murphy would be a good addition to Corberan’s first team squad for next season…

Declan Harte

Mikey Johnston has obviously been the standout figure for West Brom since joining the club in January.

However, the Ireland international signed on a temporary basis, and is set to return to Celtic at the end of the season.

Albion are competing for promotion to the Premier League, and a successful return to the top flight would surely open the door to a permanent deal for the 24-year-old.

However, if the Baggies remain in the Championship then it may prove difficult to agree a deal with the Scottish giants.

In that event, the Midlands outfit could turn to signing Murphy, who is appealing due to his impending free agency status.

However, it would be a downgrade and wouldn’t be the most inspiring signing West Brom could make ahead of a potentially big season next year.

This is the new owners’ first summer in charge at the Hawthorns, and Shilen Patel should be out to impress supporters, and prove his ambition.


West Brom boss Carlos Corberan reveals key reasons behind Sunderland’s 2023/24 struggles

Corberan doesn’t believe ability has been the key reason behind the Black Cats’ struggles.

Murphy coming in should be seen as a rotation option, and someone that can beef out the squad alongside another stronger starting option, such as Johnston.

Signing both would be good business, but only coming away with Murphy would be somewhat disappointing.

Ben Wignall

Murphy has showed a lot of talent in his career, but that was mostly prior to his massive £11 million move to Cardiff City in the summer of 2018 from Norwich.

josh murphy

A talented winger with the Canaries in the Championship, Murphy hasn’t kicked on in the near six years since, and he failed to impress at the Bluebirds and also on loan at Preston North End, which led to his drop into League One with Oxford.

He didn’t even shine last season under Karl Robinson and Liam Manning, but whatever Des Buckingham has done since his appointment at the U’s in mid-November has worked, and it has been mainly since the start of February that Murphy has found himself.

Six league goals and four assists in that time is impressive, but it’s important to remember that this is in League One – it’s all well and good doing it in the third tier, but Murphy would have to prove he can step back up to the Championship.

Given West Brom’s recent takeover though by Shilen Patel, the Baggies will certainly be looking to be a bit more ambitious than signing a 29-year-old free agent winger.

Mikey Johnston will surely be the top summer target, whilst Tom Fellows, Jed Wallace and Grady Diangana represent very strong options already – I just don’t see what Murphy can add to that pack.

It’s pretty natural that clubs will be watching Murphy due to his recent form, but I can see him landing at a lower-end Championship side rather than a club that are currently looking to try and get to the Premier League such as Albion.

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