Jordan on the road

JORDAN Rhodes will be loaned out to a league side next week as he steps up his football education.The 17-year-old, pictured above, returned from a month-long spell at Oxford United after Ipswich Town refused Jim Smith permission to keep him longer.

By Derek Davis

JORDAN Rhodes will be loaned out to a league side next week as he steps up his football education.

The 17-year-old, pictured above, returned from a month-long spell at Oxford United after Ipswich Town refused Jim Smith permission to keep him longer.

The Blues have agreed in principle to allow the striker to move to a Football League club after the FA Cup first round games this weekend, as he is ineligible to play for his new temporary club in the competition.

Town boss Jim Magilton said last night: “Jordan did well at Oxford in his month there but there is now an opportunity for him to play first team football at a slightly higher level and we feel that is an important step in his development.”

It is possible that Rhodes will play ifor Blues Under-18s against local rivals Norwich City at Playford Road, on Saturday morning (11am kick-off) although his new loan club may not want him to be risked.

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Rhodes made four starts and one substitute appearance for struggling Blue Square Premier side Oxford without scoring but got both in the O's FA Cup win over Merthyr Tydfil to set them up with a first round proper draw against Northwich Victoria. Now he will miss that match.

Oxford boss Smith said: “It's a shame, but all we can do is thank him for his efforts here.

“Jordan is a player with a bright future ahead of him and we all saw the potential during his month with us. We wish him well and will certainly keep an eye on how his career progresses.”

With goals at all levels up to first team for Town and now Oxford, Rhodes has caught the eye of the national selectors and has been called into the England Under-18s squad to play Ghana later this month.

Although Rhodes will miss out on FA Cup football this weekend, on-loan Town duo George O'Callaghan and Matt Richards have been cleared to play in Brighton's tie at Cheltenham.

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