TAKING a punt on the free agent market might not be the worst idea in the world for Oxford United.

Last season, it worked well for a brief period when Sam Baldock signed for the club.

He arrived at the beginning of February and scored four goals in seven games, striking up a strong partnership with Matty Taylor.

A knee injury hit him while he was in his stride but in the short-term, it worked.

This season, United are certainly in need of a boost as they languish in the bottom half of Sky Bet League One.

There are a number of options should the U’s sign a free agent, with the obvious caveat to using that market being fitness and getting players up to speed.

However, while United wait on Cameron Brannagan’s hip injury and a defensive midfielder arguably a position to recruit for anyway with Alex Gorrin sidelined, looking at former Burnley man Dale Stephens would make a lot of sense.

The 33-year-old boasts plenty of experience and could slot in as and when required to shore up the midfield.

Another who might work is Connor Wickham.

The U’s don’t have a target man striker and fitness is seemingly not an issue for Wickham, who scored nine goals in 20 appearances in the first half of the season for Forest Green Rovers.