PATIENCE paid off for Agon Mehmeti after he signed for Oxford United yesterday a week after the transfer window closed.

The 27-year-old striker has played across Europe, but was keeping his options open after leaving Turkish club Genclerbirligi this summer.

Since returning for pre-season he has spent time training in Sweden, but despite having options to return to the country in which he grew up in, the Albania international bided his time.

It paid off when United made an approach – and as a free agent the front man, who played in the Champions League group stage in 2014 and 2015, could move outside of the transfer window.

He said: “I wasn’t concerned. I knew my situation, but it has to be right when you take the decision.

“I was waiting and after a while everything happened.

“You have to be patient in life.”

Mehmeti was born in the former Yugoslavia, but his family moved to Sweden when he was a young child.

He came through the youth ranks at Malmo, where he was coached by Pep Clotet in their 2010 title-winning season.

Fellow summer signings Ricardinho and Ivo Pekalski were also in that squad and Mehmeti shares their enthusiasm, both for a reunion with Clotet and to fulfil an ambition to play in England.

He said: “Knowing Pep from before I know he wants his team to be playing football from the back and build up our game.

“This is also the reason I want to work with Pep again because I know his style and what he wants from the players.

“Of course it’s a bit difficult because in England they like to kick the ball and fight, but with time I think Oxford will also be playing a good style.

“In England it’s like this and you have to adapt.

“Every week I have been watching the Premier League. Of course it’s a dream to be playing here.”

While Mehmeti passed United’s physical tests before signing, it will be a while before fans see him in action.

He said: “I need a couple of weeks.

“I want to be ready when I play, instead of playing and getting injured or something like that – it wouldn’t be good for me or anybody.

“I want to be 100 per cent when I play.”

Clotet believes Mehmeti will be worth the wait.

“Agon has managed to adapt to different leagues," he said.

"He’s very mobile and he’s the right age.

“Physically he’s strong and quick, he’s a very smart player and will give us another option up front, which is very welcome.

“The best thing to do is give him time to get the right fitness levels and learn how the squad plays.”

“Then when the opening comes for him, because the team needs him, then he will be ready.”

Clotet had played down the chances of United signing an out of contract player when asked on Saturday, but wanted to see Mehmeti first before making a decision.

He said: “I wanted to have a talk with him on Tuesday to see exactly how he was thinking about this move, because he’s never played in England before.

“He had many options in Sweden, where he had a pre-season, but the fact he was out of contract allowed him not to be in a hurry in the transfer window.”