Oxford United: Bristol City's Matty Taylor and Derby's George Thorne join on loan

Matty Taylor has scored nine goals in his two years at Bristol City, having mostly been used off the bench
Matty Taylor has scored nine goals in his two and a half years at Bristol City, having mostly been used off the bench

Oxford United have re-signed Bristol City striker Matty Taylor on loan for the rest of the season.

As well as signing Taylor, 29, who began his career with the U's, Oxford have also brought in Derby midfielder George Thorne on loan until January.

Ex-England youth international Thorne, 26, has been with the Rams since 2014.

"A goalscorer was our top priority," said boss Karl Robinson. "Matty has an unbelievable record at this level. And George is a fantastic passer."

Taylor was in the youth and academy sides at Oxford, making seven senior appearances before moving into non-league football with Didcot Town and North Leigh.

After three seasons with Forest Green Rovers, he scored six times in seven games on loan at Chester to earn a move to Bristol Rovers.

He scored 67 goals for Rovers in 132 appearances, helping the Pirates regain their Football League status, then a second promotion in as many seasons to League One.

He also scored a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw at MK Dons, capped by two goals in the final three minutes, in what proved to be Robinson's penultimate game in charge in Milton Keynes, before making the controversial move from Rovers to City on transfer deadline day in January 2017.

"I grew up watching Oxford and loved being part of the club before," said Taylor. "I still have family in Oxfordshire and so many friends here. It was unbelievable to walk back in and see so many familiar faces."

Injury-plagued Thorne, who played in the same England youth side as Oxford midfielder Rob Hall, started his career at West Bromwich Albion and has also had loan spells with Portsmouth, Watford and last season at Luton Town.

"He has had terrible luck with injuries," said Robinson. "He would have played a lot more games at a much higher level otherwise. Even so, he has played over 100 games in the Premier League or Championship.

"He knows he has a point to prove but we know we are getting a very good footballer and hopefully the move works out perfectly for all of us."

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