Joel Cooper: Linfield winger agrees three-year deal with Oxford United

Joel Cooper
Joel Cooper is the latest Irish League talent to make a move to Oxford United's Kassam Stadium

Linfield winger Joel Cooper has agreed a move to League One Oxford United on a three-year deal.

Cooper, 24, will officially make the move for an undisclosed fee when the transfer window opens - subject to international clearance.

"It was a big decision to make the move to Oxford but I know I have made the right choice and I can't wait to get started," said Cooper.

Oxford coach Karl Robinson described Cooper as a "real talent".

The former Glenavon player follows in the footsteps of Gavin Whyte and Mark Sykes by joining Oxford from an Irish League side.

"He has pace and creates chances for others as well as scoring so it's an exciting signing," added Robinson.

"People talk about the step up to full-time football but we have shown with Gavin Whyte and Mark Sykes that players can make that step provided they have the right help and the right mentality and it is great to have Joel with us when we report back for pre-season."

Cooper scored 13 goals this season for Linfield and provided 17 assists as he earned a second successive Irish Premiership title with the Blues.

He had one year remaining on his current deal with the champions and Linfield boss David Healy praised him for his "major contribution to our success".

"His consistent and excellent performances in our team have earned him this exciting move to Oxford and we all want to wish him every success and happiness as he embarks on this next important chapter in his football career," added Healy.

Shrewsbury Town were also believed to be interested in Cooper, who moved to Linfield from the Lurgan Blues two years ago.

Sykes, who joined from Glenavon last year, scored for Oxford in their League One play-off final defeat by Wycombe Wanderers a week ago.

Northern Ireland international Whyte is now at Cardiff City after signing for the U's from Crusaders in 2018.