Oxford United boss Chris Wilder has made his most exciting capture of the summer – by signing England C star Mitchell Cole on a two-year contract.

The 24-year-old left winger joins the U’s on a free transfer from Stevenage.

And the former West Ham Academy starlet, who four years ago helped Southend United to promotion to the Championship, is opting for what he believes is the greater potential at Oxford than at fellow Football League new boys Stevenage, where he had been since 2007.

Wilder, back from holiday, was delighted with United’s eighth signing of the summer, and believes Cole is a quality player.

He said: “He’s a player that, every time I’ve seen him play for Stevenage, has excited me. And every time I’ve come up against him, I’ve thought we’ve got to make sure we keep him quiet because he’s a dangerous player.

“He plays in a three up front, he can play wide, or just in behind. He’s got great pace, good ability and I’m sure he fits in really well with the way we’re going about things at the moment.

“I have put on record that I want us to be energetic.

“I want us to build something here and we want to bring in players who want to come and play for the football club, who are the right age that are energetic and can excite people. He ticks all those boxes.”

Oxford’s newest signing scored seven times in 14 appearances for England C, and struck four goals in around 30 appearances for Stevenage last season.

But he was left out in the last few games of the campaign, after returning from injury.

He said: “I was offered a new deal by them, obviously I considered it, having been there for so long. But having done what I did last season, then sitting in the stands for the FA Trophy final, I took the decision to move on.

“Oxford’s a huge club, you’ve just got to look at the stadium.

“I just want to get back to playing football again. I didn’t really play much at the end of last season. I had a phone call from Chris and jumped at the opportunity.”

His fiancee, Charlie – with whom he has two young children – is the sister of England ace Joe Cole (it’s a coincidence they share the same surname).

In the past, Stevenage manager Graham Westley has claimed Oxford have offered players far more money than his club, but Wilder says that is just rubbish.

“We know what’s going to come from Stevenage,” he said. “We’re expecting comments that we’ve ‘blown everybody out of ther water’.

“I’ve been a bit bored, to be honest, with what they said last year, I’ve been bored with what York said after the final, bored with what the assistant manager at Crawley said regarding another player that we took.

“When we bring players to this football club, I think they look around, see the facilities, talk to other players, see how we treat them, see what fantastic support they get from our crowd, and want to be part of something that’s going forward.”