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Oxford United face stiff competition in hunt for 36-goal striker

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Oxford United face an uphill battle to convince striker Kabongo Tshimanga to join the club, with interest from League Two sides as well as a resolve by his parent club to keep him, as reported by the Oxford Mail.

Oxford City might be in the National League South, but they’re committed to offering the 21-year-old ‘the best contract they possibly can’ in order to retain his services.

That comes in addition to interest from both Stevenage and Exeter, two sides who only just missed out on a play-off place in League Two and who are looking to add goals and points to their tally next season.

The former Boston striker shot to prominence during this year’s FA Cup with a hat trick at Tranmere Rovers, even earning himself an England C call up in the process. That’s allegedly alerted Karl Robinson to his talents, but the competition is likely to be fierce.

Oxford City boss Mark Jones admits that it might be a struggle to keep him with the club; “We’re still in there fighting to keep him. We’ve offered him a two-year deal and have put the best contract we possible can on the table.

“If he has that opportunity to play at a higher level we would expect him to take it, but at the moment nothing has happened.”

It’s believed that the deal would make the former MK Dons striker the best-paid player in the club’s history but, even if he does move on, they will be due a compensation fee.

The Verdict

I like Tshimanga. He was excellent at Boston, but came off the bench and was used sparingly. He’s a real livewire, he’s energetic and finds spaces in behind at every opportunity.

He’s definitely Football League quality but Oxford United might not be the best move for him. He needs regular games to adjust to a level higher than he’s at now; Exeter City would be a great fit.

I can’t see him staying put, it wouldn’t matter what he was offered at Oxford City, the lure of the EFL would surely be too much.

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