January Round Up: Arrivals
January was a busy month for Joe Dunne as he shapes his squad for the rest of the season and the fight for survival, and we discuss the arrivals here:
Josh had already been on loan with the U's for a while ahead of the New Year period, and suffered a suspension for the New Year's Day defeat at Crawley whilst signing permanently for Joe Dunne's men from tomorrow's opponents, Portsmouth. Josh has slotted straight into the U's back line and shown leadership and composure beyond his years, with the youngster having already been given the captain's armband on multiple occasions by Dunne.
Jack's signing was announced after the 1-0 defeat at Walsall on BBC Essex, and he was introduced to the home crowd prior to the Boxing Day defeat against Brentford. Also from Portsmouth, Jack follows Josh Thompson in arriving at the Weston Homes Community Stadium and has suffered from a couple of minor injuries to date. A pacy left winger, he is set to compete with the emerging Drey Wright for the left-wing berth.
A loan signing from Burnley until the end of the season, George is another tricky, attack-minded player who has so far been played out on the wing by Joe Dunne. Previously of Leyton Orient, the move gave the youngster a chance to head back down south and is one he has admitted to enjoying already. Having made a big impact as a substitute last weekend, many will now be looking forward with excitement at what Porter may continue to bring the U's.
Billy arrived from Chelsea on a short-term loan deal prior to the Scunthorpe defeat, perhaps to fill the vacant role left by Anthony Wordsworth's suspension. A creative central midfielder, there are high hopes for the youngster at Stamford Bridge and, already, U's fans have seen glimpses of his attacking flair and will hope he can prove as influential as Craig Eastmond did in his time with the U's.
Days after the arrival of Billy Clifford, Sam Walker followed his Chelsea team mate to the Weston Homes Community Stadium as he signed a loan deal until the end of the season. The six foot five inch goalkeeper offers a huge presence in the U's goal and, having enjoyed loan spells at Bristol Rovers, Northampton and Yeovil, he enjoyed a quiet debut last weekend in the 2-0 win over Walsall.
Jabo is a familiar face to U's fans having enjoyed a successful loan spell before Christmas and endearing himself to the U's faithful in the process. The amicable front-man is a powerful figure to spearhead Joe Dunne's attack, and started his second coming with the U's by bagging the opening goal in Saturday's 2-0 win over Walsall. Jabo has signed a deal until the end of the season.
With the U's crying out for experience, the signing of David Wright provides this in the middle of the park. The 32-year old is equally adept at either full back or as a defensive midfielder, and made his debut on Saturday as the holding central midfielder. It is hoped that David will help guide the development of the younger players that have been emerging this season, such as Alex Gilbey and Drey Wright amongst others.
A young forward who signed a short-term loan deal from Reading, Dominic has now returned to the Madejski Stadium after two appearances for the U's. Despite having his time at the club depleted through postponements, his performance away at Doncaster showed that he has bags of potential for a successful career in the game, leading the U's front line well and performing excellently as a hold-up target man.
We will round up the departures for you shortly, so keep your eyes open!
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