NICO Jones has signed his first professional contract with Oxford United.

The teenage defender, 17, has penned a two-year deal, which includes a 12-month extension.

Jones has enjoyed an impressive year since United signed the centre-back following Fulham’s decision not to offer him a scholarship.

He made his senior debut on Easter Monday against Shrewsbury Town, making three appearances in total at the end of the 2018/19 Sky Bet League One campaign.

Jones is thrilled to be given the opportunity.

He said: “I’m delighted.

“I owe it to everyone at Oxford.

“They picked me up when I was down and helped me progress massively in the space of a year.”

After playing a starring role for the youth team, Jones came off the bench to make his first-team debut against Shrewsbury Town on April 22.

He looked assured in the 30 minutes he played as the U’s, who were down to ten men, earned a 3-2 victory.

Karl Robinson had no qualms in starting the youngster against Doncaster Rovers on April 27 and Luton Town on May 4.

The U’s boss was thrilled to see the teenager sign on.

“I’m ecstatic," said Robinson.

“I am so excited. He’s a great kid.

“He’s had a difficult start to his career, he’s been released which I love because he can almost now say he’s got something to prove and thankfully he’s chosen us.”

Dan Harris, United's head of academy, added: “It’s a good day for us that he has signed.

“It’s great that he made those three appearances at the end of the season, but we don’t want that to be the pinnacle of his career, it’s a milestone and nothing more than that.

“Now it’s about refocusing and kicking on again.”