GEORGE Thorne has joined Oxford United on a permanent deal until the end of the season.

The midfielder, whose loan spell at the U’s expired earlier this month, put pen to paper after leaving Derby County by mutual agreement.

He played just 62 minutes across three games for United before dislocating his shoulder against West Ham United in September.

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But the 27-year-old has undergone his recovery with the U’s and revealed he now feels at home at the Sky Bet League One club.

He said: “I was obviously quite unlucky to get that injury, but since then the club have been really good to me.

“I’ve felt very welcome throughout my rehab.

“I’m enjoying coming to work every day again, so I’m delighted.”

Thorne could be in the squad for Saturday's Emirates FA Cup tie at Newcastle United.

U’s boss Karl Robinson had said earlier this month that he was looking to prolong the former England Under 19 international’s stay.

The head coach was thrilled to reach an agreement and revealed the ex-Derby man was equally keen to complete the deal.

He said: “I’m really pleased with how he conducted himself.

“He was the one who came to me and asked if this would be a possibility and he went away and made it happen.”

Robinson added: “We’ve seen a real determination in him in the last month. The medical team and Shorty (head of physical performance Chris Short) have spoken highly of his dedication.

“Nothing that’s happened to him in his career has been his fault – it’s been a tackle, poor surgery, infections in injuries.

“The man deserves a break and I’m a big believer in giving people another opportunity.

“I really hope we can kick-start his career.”