A STAR of Oxford United’s record-breaking run in the FA Youth Cup has left the club to join Premier League side Brentford.

Erion Zabeli, an 18-year-old centre back, exits the U’s for an undisclosed fee.

The Oxford Mail understands that Rangers, Leeds United and Southampton were all interested in the teenager, however it is the Bees that have claimed his signature after impressing on trial at the back end of last season.

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Zabeli began his scholarship with United at the start of the 2021/22 campaign, and in April, he was among three players from last year’s historic run to the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup to be offered third year scholarship contracts at the U’s.

United made the last eight of the competition, before suffering a 3-0 loss away to Manchester City.

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Zabeli, who has previously linked up with the Kosovo Under-21s side, will most likely feature for Brentford’s B team after joining on a one-year contract with a club option of an additional year.

Among his new teammates there will be Romeo Beckham, son of former England captain David.

Beckham joined Brentford B on an initial one-year deal from Inter Miami last month, following a successful loan spell.

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About the author

To sign up to Liam’s latest Oxford United newsletter for free, click here: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/newsletters/

Formerly the politics reporter for the Oxford Mail, Liam now covers all things Oxford United.

Liam attends the U’s home and away, as well as covering other big sports stories across the county.

His Oxford United newsletter is released every Saturday morning at 6am.