Oxford United manager Karl Robinson has revealed the importance that Barnsley loanee Herbie Kane will have on their expected promotion push this season, during an interview with Oxford Mail.
Kane, who joined The U’s on a temporary deal this summer, has featured five times for Robinson’s side thus far this season, chipping in with two assists.
The 22-year-old has started Oxford’s last four League One contests, setting up the opener against Gillingham in late September, before assisting the opening goal in Oxford’s 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday.
A graduate of Liverpool’s academy, Kane joined Barnsley permanently in October last year, following successful loan spells with Doncaster Rovers and Hull City.
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Kane struggled for consistent game time last season during The Tykes’ promotion challenge, starting just six games and adding a further 18 appearances from the bench.
Speaking to Oxford Mail about Kane and how important he can be this season, Robinson said: “I’ve not hidden the fact that this is one of the signings I was so excited about.
“He holds the key to this football club being in the Championship – I think he’s that good.
“We need to have those players on permanents, we all know that.
“He likes being back down south for the first time in a long time.
“Cameron Brannagan has played with him at youth level and they’re very close.
“He gives me tremendous flexibility, we don’t lose our attacking prowess when he’s on the pitch because he’s a forward-thinking footballer.”
Kane has proven to be an excellent player in League One before and he has shown glimpses of his ability in the Championship.
Robinson is certainly correct in thinking that the 22-year-old could be the piece that could earn Oxford promotion to the Championship, after a few near misses.
Kane’s technical ability, coupled with his intelligence, make him an excellent option for Robinson to have at his disposal.
His ability in the final third is also of a high level, and he could prove to be the difference in this year’s promotion push.