OXFORD United’s style of play proved the key factor in convincing Rob Dickie to end his long association with Reading.

The centre back has spent 13 of his 21 years at the Royals, but has now committed himself to the U’s.

They paid an undisclosed fee to the Sky Bet Championship club for Dickie, who signed a contract which will keep him at the club until 2020.

As a ball-playing defender, who can also play at right back and even in midfield, he believes it will be a good match.

Dickie said: “A few weeks ago they showed an interest in me and ever since I thought it could be a really exciting move.

“The main thing for me is the style of football the manager is looking to play, it’s something I really feel suits me.

“I was at Reading from a very young age and I’ve got a lot to thank them for, but I think it’s the right time for me to move on and take the next step in my career.

“I’m proud of my record and hopefully I can improve it here.”

While he is only 21, Dickie is no rookie.

He won the Conference title with Cheltenham Town, returning in a second spell last season.

The former England Under 19 international has spent the first half of this season on loan at Lincoln City, making 23 appearances.

He is cup-tied for the Checkatrade Trophy, but is able to make his Sky Bet League One debut against Blackpool tomorrow.

Dickie said: “To be honest, once I found out Oxford were interested in me that was where I wanted to go.

“All I want to do is play football, that’s what I love.”

Boss Pep Clotet said: “Rob’s played around 100 games across three different leagues despite his age, and at 21 we believe that he will continue to develop as a player and we think he will be a very positive asset for us.”