Oxford United boss Karl Robinson believes that letting Nathan Holland return to West Ham United will be in his best long term interests, even though he could potentially have played for the U's again this season.

The 21-year-old had a bright start at the League One club after joining in January in loan, featuring in 12 games before picking up an injury in their last match before the break, against Shrewsbury Town.  


With League One in limbo, Holland could potentially have recovered in time to feature for Oxford again this season, but Robinson feels it was unfair to keep the midfielder hanging on.

Holland has now returned to his parent club where he will undergo further treatment to get back to fitness ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

Giving an update on the proceedings that led up to the decision on the player being taken the Us manager said that while they could have taken a risk by rushing him back on to the pitch, it might have threatened Holland's long-term future.

And therefore, in coordination with West Ham, the decision to end the loan spell was taken.

“It’s a real shame because the longer this has gone on there was always a chance that when we do play again Nathan might have been ready", Robinson told his club's official site.

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"It’s not a financial decision but we like to do things right for players here: West Ham were great and we talked honestly about the situation and the injury.

"We could have kept him hanging on and Nathan then maybe rushing back in his eagerness to play but he is an outstanding prospect and for his long term development then returning to West Ham is the right thing.

“I know he enjoyed his time with us and you never know in football, we may see him in an Oxford shirt again some time, but for now we thank his for his efforts and we wish him well.”

Oxford sit a lofty third in the League One standings and are just two points behind the final automatic promotion place, currently occupied by Rotherham United.

It is not yet clear how League One will be resolved.