(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Bristol Rovers have made their first signing of the summer with the arrival of Oxford United midfielder Liam Sercombe.
The 26-year-old has arrived for an undisclosed fee after spending two years at the Kassam Stadium following his transfer from boyhood club Exeter in May 2015.
However, despite making over 100 apeearances in his two-year spell at Oxford, his time at the U’s ended on a sour note after manager Micheal Appleton left him out of the first-team squad for the final five games of the season.
The former Blackburn boss never confirmed why he left out Sercombe, who had been ever-present since his arrival at Oxford, but Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke is clearly delighted to have him at The Memorial Ground, saying: “Liam was one of my top summer targets
“I was interested in signing him a couple of years ago as he is a quality attacking midfielder and I am delighted that he has agreed to join us.
“I’m sure that our supporters will remember him from his time at both Exeter and Oxford and will welcome and appreciate the way he plays the game and I am grateful to the club’s owner and directors for their backing as we prepare for next season.”
Sercombe came through the youth ranks at Exeter, making his debut in 2007 before helping the Grecian’s climb up the Football League before eventually reaching League One for the first time in the club’s history.
Following Exeter’s relegation back to League Two, the classy midfielder became known as one of the best footballing talent’s in the fourth tier, and his form saw Oxford sign him as they won promotion the following year with Sercombe a star-man.
His last appearance in an Oxford shirt came at Wembley in the EFL Trophy final, but despite scoring, he tasted defeat as Coventry beat the U’s 2-1, and Sercombe is now looking forward to a fresh start with The Gas.
“I wanted the transfer to take place before I took my holiday so that I can relax before coming back to a lot of hard work in pre-season.” said the midfielder.
“As soon as I knew of Rovers’ interest, there was only one place I wanted to go. People who know me will also know how much I wanted to come here. I’m very happy and can’t wait to get started.
“I want to help this club go forward because in my eyes it’s a big club and one that can definitely go places and I want to be part of it.”