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Joel Cooper joins Port Vale

27 January 2022

Port Vale Football Club is delighted to confirm that Joel Cooper has joined the club on loan for the remainder of the season from Oxford United.

The 25-year-old arrives from Sky Bet League One side Oxford United after making a name for himself in his native Northern Ireland for Linfield FC.
 
The creative forward started his career at Glenavon, notching up 20 goal contributions during his time with the club and helping them to win the Irish Cup in his first season, being named the Northern Irish Young Player of the Year.
 
In 2018 he made the move to Linfield FC, who he helped to win consecutive Northern Ireland Football League titles in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons.
 
During his time with the Blues, Cooper made 91 appearances, netting 21 times and picking up 32 assists.
 
His most prolific season with the club came in the 2019/20 league winning campaign, where he scored 11 goals and provided 17 assists, winning the Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year.
 
His impressive displays earned him a move to Sky Bet League One side Oxford United, before a brief loan back to Linfield where he scored the winner in the Irish Cup Final.
 
Cooper has also represented his national team on five occasions at Under-21 level.
 
Manager Darrell Clarke said: “Joel is a versatile winger who can play on either side, he’s a good ball traveller and he arrives with a good goalscoring record.
 
“We’ve obviously lost Dennis Politic who was a goal scorer, and this boy can score goals, something he’s shown with his form in Ireland and we’re looking forward to him fitting into the group very well.   
 
“We’ve lost a lot of players this January, we’ve suffered from an unbelievable amount of injuries and Covid cases over the last 12 weeks and we’ve got a lot of games coming up, so this addition adds more competition for places and gives us another good wide option, with a lad who can play in three or four positions, which is a big strength.”

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