BENJI Buchel has been told he can leave Oxford United if an opportunity appeals to the goalkeeper during the January transfer window.

Head coach Michael Appleton stressed the Liechtenstein international, who has not played a minute for the team this season, will not be frozen out.

But the progress of Jack Stevens means the U’s are keen to give the 19-year-old more chances to be named on the bench, as he was in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy win against Scunthorpe United.

Appleton said: “I said to Benji ‘if you get the opportunity (to leave) there’s no chance I’d be standing in your way’.

“His contract’s up at the end of the season, but I’m not forcing him out by any stretch of the imagination.

“We do think quite highly of Jack and he will get his opportunity.”

Buchel joined United in September 2015 and went on to become their No 1.

The 27-year-old started 31 games last season to win promotion from Sky Bet League Two, but Simon Eastwood’s excellent form has kept him on the bench this term.