OXFORD United have signed highly-rated goalkeeper George Long on loan from Sheffield United until January.
The 20-year-old will compete with Max Crocombe for a starting place while U’s No 1 Ryan Clarke recovers from foot surgery.
Despite his age, Long arrives with a promising CV which includes 75 appearances for the Blades in the last two seasons.
He has also been a regular in England squads from under 16 upwards and last season was selected several times by Gareth Southgate for the under 21 squad.
U’s head coach Michael Appleton said: "George is very highly-rated and has been part of the England set-up so we are very excited to have him here.
"He is tall, he communicates well and likes to command his box.
“We need competition for every place in the side and with Ryan Clarke still on crutches we now have two good young keepers in George and Max Crocombe who will push each other all the way.”
It was initially hoped Clarke would only miss the opening month of the season, but Appleton admitted this week the 32-year-old could be out of action until late November.
Latest United news:
6:40am Wednesday 1st October 2014
JAMES Roberts admitted it was extra sweet to score a winner for Oxford United against rivals Swindon Town, even if it came in a behind-closed-doors game.
3:26pm Tuesday 30th September 2014
JAMES Roberts came off the bench to score the winner as Oxford United came from two goals down to win 3-2 against Swindon Town at Roman Way.
9:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014
Oxford United’s position in the table is now a concern for head coach Michael Appleton, who has acknow-ledged it is taking longer than expected to improve results.
8:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014
A lacklustre Oxford United Women suffered a 5-0 thrashing at local rivals Reading, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
10:30am Monday 29th September 2014
MICHAEL Appleton admitted Oxford United were second best where it really mattered as they lost 2-0 at Luton Town.