After narrowly missing out on a play-off place last season, Oxford United’s busy summer looks like priming them for a more sustained promotion push this time around.
Manager Chris Wilder faced criticism from sections of the U’s support last term for what some fans saw as failure to get more consistent performances from his talented squad.
But following flurry of transfer activity that has seen 15 players leave and over ten come in, including the high-profile signature of former Premier League striker Dave Kitson, Oxford already look a more experienced and savvy outfit.
Along with 33-year-old Kitson, who scored 12 times for League One Sheffield United last season, 30-year-old centre back David Hunt has arrived from Crawley with a CV that boasts plenty of promotion experience.
As well as winning the league with Crawley two years ago, Hunt was a League Two runner-up at Northampton Town in 2006, while he went one better with Brentford in the same division in 2009.
Both players will undoubtedly bolster a side who are 4/1 with Ladbrokes to win promotion to League One, while they’re also joint-fifth favourites at 16/1 to take the title.
In particular, Kitson’s ability in front of goal will prove a crucial addition, last season only striker James Constable finished in double figures – with 11 goals – as Oxford scored the second fewest goals in the top ten.
Relegated Portsmouth remain the 4/1 favourites for the title, having also been busy in the transfer market this summer, with manager Guy Whittingham bringing in a whopping 17 players, including Patrick Agyemang and former U’s striker Tom Craddock, one of 12 players released by the club.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.