Freed Preston North End winger signs for Oxford United on a Bosman

Billy Bodin has joined Oxford United after being released by Preston North End.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 1:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 2:04 pm

The 29-year-old winger's contract at Deepdale had come to an end and he's signed a one-year deal with The U's who were beaten semi-finalists in the League One play-offs in May.

Bodin's three-and-a-half years with North End didn't really go to plan, with him limited to 44 appearances - 30 starts and 14 off the bench.

He was signed for £500,000 from Bristol Rovers in January 2018 and started well enough, starting 14 games in the second-half of the 2017/18 campaign.

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Billy Bodin in action for Preston North End

His one senior Wales cap came in that period, against Uruguay in the China Cup.

Bodin ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee just days before the start of the 2018/19 campaign which wiped out the full season for him.

He returned to action for 2019/20 and was a regular in the squad until needing surgery on his Achilles tendon which kept him sidelined until the restart games in June 2020.

Last season, Bodin's only Championship start was on the opening day of the season against Swansea.

He had cartilage surgery on his knee last autumn, returning to action in January as a substitute against Sheffield Wednesday.

Bodin came on twice more as a substitute, against Luton in March which was Alex Neil's last game in charge and then in the 5-0 defeat to Brentford in April.

He will start training with Oxford on Thursday.

After putting pen to paper at the Kassam Stadium, Bodin told Oxford's official website: "I’m pleased to be here.

"It’s a club that has reached the play-offs in the last two seasons and has ambitions to go higher.

"I came in and met Karl Robinson and he was really impressive - his sides have a reputation for attacking football which will suit me and I know a couple of the lads here who spoke really highly of the club.

"I played with Matty Taylor at Bristol Rovers, and Ryan Ledson at Preston told me how much he loved it at Oxford so I can’t wait to come in tomorrow and start pre-season.

"It has been frustrating for the last couple of years with injuries but I am fully fit now, did all the medicals and now it’s a case of reporting on Thursday and hopefully getting a good pre-season under my belt."

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