THE retained list has been announced and loan players have returned to their parent clubs.

Although the transfer window might not be open just yet, it’s the stage of the summer when clubs and fans alike pick out areas where they want improvements.

At Oxford United, what does that look like?

READ ALSO: Assessing Oxford United’s loan players in 2022/23 season

With no Djavan Anderson or Brandon Fleming, players to rival Sam Long and Ciaron Brown are almost certainties at full back.

Once again, the U’s are seemingly crying out for a holding midfielder.

The Cameron Brannagan and Marcus McGuane pivot has shown it can work, but a natural destroyer in the middle of the park will certainly be high on supporters’ wish lists, especially as Oisin Smyth has played most of his football further forward after finally breaking into the side.

And finally, a striker seems a must. With no Matty Taylor or Kyle Joseph to call upon, and Sam Baldock’s fitness record over the last year a concern, it leaves Gatlin O’Donkor leading the line.

While undoubtedly talented, and with a promising future ahead of him, to expect the youngster to be the main man up front every week is simply not fair.

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Elsewhere though, the club finds itself in a relatively healthy place in terms of depth and personnel.

In goal, United boast Simon Eastwood and Ed McGinty, plus the returning Jack Stevens, while there’s already at least five first team players that can fill in at centre back.

An extra couple of midfielders would be welcome, in addition to burning pace and quality in the final third on the wings.

While the above positions have decent quality and depth already, that it is not to say the club should sit still on them.

The U’s must push on and get the additions required to ensure they are at the top end of the table next season.

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About the author

To sign up to Liam’s latest Oxford United newsletter for free, click here:

Formerly the politics reporter for the Oxford Mail, Liam now covers all things Oxford United.

Liam attends the U’s home and away, as well as covering other big sports stories across the county.

His Oxford United newsletter is released every Saturday morning at 6am.