OXFORD United have bolstered their centre back options with the signing of Jordan Thorniley.

The 24-year-old joins on a season-long loan from Blackpool, who beat the U’s in the 2020/21 Sky Bet League One play-off semi-finals.

United have been searching for a left-sided centre back since Rob Atkinson joined Bristol City last month and Thorniley fits the bill.

Also capable of filling in at left back, Thorniley is aiming to hit the ground running ahead of the U's League One opener at Cambridge United next Saturday.

“I’m made up to come here,” he said.

“I like the way the gaffer’s teams play.

“Playing against Oxford last season, I liked the way that they try to control the ball and play out from the back. That’s something I like to do.”

Thorniley missed Blackpool’s draw at Morecambe yesterday as he was travelling down to Oxford to complete his move, but he has trained throughout pre-season.

He said: “I need to get a full week of training in and see what the gaffer wants tactically, and then go from there.”

Thorniley is a welcome addition to United’s back line, where Elliott Moore, John Mousinho and Luke McNally – who is still to return after self-isolating – are the only natural centre backs.

The defender is United’s seventh summer signing and their third season-long loan in 72 hours, following the moves for Nathan Holland and Gavin Whyte.

Thorniley came through Everton’s youth academy and captained The Toffees’ Under 18s to the Premier League title in 2013/14, in a team that included ex-U’s favourite Ryan Ledson.

He turned professional in 2015 and joined Stockport County on loan, before he was released by his parent club the following year.

Thorniley joined Sheffield Wednesday and made 35 appearances in three-and-a-half seasons, while there was also a successful loan spell at Accrington Stanley in late 2017.

The loanee joined Blackpool on a permanent deal in January 2020 and made 27 appearances last season as Neil Critchley’s side won promotion to the Sky Bet Championship.

U’s head coach Karl Robinson said: “We have been chasing Jordan for a while and we are delighted to bring him in.

“He is a terrific competitor and because he is naturally left-sided he will add balance for us. It was clear we were going to bring in a centre-half.

“Elliott Moore is our captain, we have Luke McNally who has tremendous potential, John Mousinho for his experience, Sam Long can play there, and now Jordan.

“There are still one or two areas we need to strengthen, but it has been an exciting few days.

“With Nathan Holland, Gavin Whyte and now Jordan coming in I’d say we have done some excellent business.”