Blackpool defender and ex-Everton and Sheffield Wednesday man completes loan move to League One side
Blackpool defender Jordan Thorniley has joined League One side Oxford United on a season-long loan.
The 24-year-old made 27 appearances in all competitions for the Seasiders last season to help Neil Critchley’s men win promotion.
Thorniley finds himself down the pecking order at Bloomfield Road and would have found first-team football hard to come by this coming season.
“You could see the way Oxford like to play and I think their style of football is going to suit me,” Thorniley said of his move.
“At Blackpool we got on a roll last season. It was like Oxford - both sides had momentum going into the play-offs.
“I’m a defender but I do like to get on the ball if I can, so hopefully I can train well this week, be part of the side that starts at Cambridge United next weekend and play my part in a successful season.”
Thorniley made the move to Bloomfield Road in January 2020, but initially found game time hard to come by - making just two appearances before the 2019/20 campaign was halted early by Covid.
The defender was informed by Neil Critchley that he was free to leave last season if a club came in for him.
But the former Everton youngster eventually got some minutes after injuries, Covid cases and suspensions elsewhere created an opening in the side.
Thorniley took full advantage of the absences and performed well whenever he was selected, but he was never going to be first-choice at Bloomfield Road.
Pool already have a wealth of options in the centre of defence, including Richard Keogh, James Husband, Daniel Gretarsson, Marvin Ekpiteta and Oliver Casey.
Callum Connolly can also play there if and when required.
The defender featured against Oxford during the first leg of Blackpool’s victorious play-off semi-final. He also came off the bench during the Wembley final win against Lincoln City.
Thorniley is out of contract at Blackpool at the end of the season, although they do hold the option to extend his deal by 12 months.
“We have been chasing Jordan for a while and we are delighted to bring him in,” Oxford boss Karl Robinson said.
“He is a terrific competitor, good character 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 and with Nathan Holland, Gavin Whyte and now Jordan coming in I’d say we have done some excellent business.”
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