Bradford City boss provides update on Brentford defender plus latest on Aston Villa and West Brom loanees

BRADFORD CITY manager Graham Alexander has confirmed that the club will retain the registration of loanee Daniel Oyegoke for the 2023-24 season - with the Brentford defender currently recuperating at his parent club following surgery.

The versatile defender, who joined City from the Premier League outfit on a season-long loan last summer, had a shoulder operation last month after landing awkwardly on his shoulder in Alexander’s first match in charge against Barrow on November 11.

There were understandable fears that the loan spell of Oyegoke, who had made nine starts and eight substitute appearances in his time with the club, would be ended as a result.

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But following discussions with the Bees, Alexander has revealed that City will keep his registration, having agreed a deal on reduced terms.

Bradford City manager Graham Alexander. Picture: PA.Bradford City manager Graham Alexander. Picture: PA.
Bradford City manager Graham Alexander. Picture: PA.

Alexander, whose side visit Gillingham in League Two on Saturday, said: “We’ve spoken to Brentford and Dan as well. We’re going to keep his registration.

"There’s been a deal done between the two teams. Obviously the cost is a lot less while he’s injured.

"When he gets back to full fitness, he’ll be coming back to us and potentially available for the run-in to the season, depending on when he gets fit.

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"Ryan (Sparkes - CEO) has spoken to Brentford and sorted that out. I spoke to Dan and he was really excited about coming back.

"He is really positive about his rehab so far. We just feel there’s a really good player there who could help us at an important stage of the season.

"We’ll see when he comes back.

"I spoke to him a few days ago and said I would catch up with him again around Christmas just to see how his rehab is going.

"It would be pointless to bring him back to do all his rehab up here while he can’t play. He’s more comfortable and it’s better for him to do it at his parent club.

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"His return to date to us is still to be negotiated. Whether it’s when he’s fully back into training or just before that, I’m not sure yet.”

Meanwhile, Alexander insists that he has not yet closed the door on loanees Rayhaan Tulloch and Chisom Afoka staying at the club, despite that pair not featuring under him thus far.

Tulloch is almost halfway through a season-long loan from West Brom, while Afoka joined from Aston Villa for the 2023-24 season on the final day of the summer deadline.

Break clauses are contained in both deals in January.

Alexander added: "It’s down to the players.

"I had a chat with them 10 days to two weeks ago.

"I know it hasn’t gone how they hoped or planned. The change of formation might make it difficult for players in those positions to break through.

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"But the opportunity is there. I say every day is an opportunity for players.

"Sometimes when players in general say they haven’t been given the opportunity, they train every single day.

"You’re training for your manager against your team-mates. That’s an opportunity to go, ‘I can be in this team and help you win’.

"It’s the same with them. While players are signed with us, training fully fit, they always have that opportunity for me.

"I never banish players off to different teams or anything like that. I want to keep everyone together as much as we can.

"The team has been in a good little run of form, so the challenge is there.”