Following on from the departures of Shandon Baptiste and Tariqe Fosu, Oxford United could be braced to lose another of their top players come the summer.
Defender Rob Dickie has been a colossus for the Us over the last two seasons, but Football Insider now reports that Dickie is a target for Premier League duo Southampton and Burnley.
The 23-year-old moved to the Kassam from Reading in the winter window of 2018 after having a loan spell with Lincoln City cut short. He’s a former England Under 19 international and he currently has 18 months of his contract left to run.
His development since joining Oxford has been rapid; he’s turned into a stalwart of their back four and helped make the departure of Curtis Nelson seamless in the summer. However, his exploits during Oxford’s recent cup run have now brought him to the attention of the bigger clubs.
Oxford have slipped out of the top six in League One since the double sale on deadline day and fans will be hoping they can exploit the cash they generated in the summer, should they not make the Championship this season.
Dickie has always had an exciting reputation, but it’s taken a year or two for him to develop into the player everyone expected.
He’s done it by playing regular football in League One, being knocked about by bigger centre forwards and earning his stripes the hard way.
It’s little surprise bigger clubs are eyeing him, defenders at this level have been proven to be able to step up. Matt Clarke moved to Brighton, albeit being loaned out to Derby, and Dickie could well follow the same path.