Sam Allardyce, the grandson of the former England manager with whom he shares a name, has signed the first professional contract of his career with Oxford United.
Oxford manager Karl Robinson has described Allardyce as an “old-school defender” after the 18-year-old agreed terms on a one-year contract.
Who is Sam Allardyce (no, not that one)? Four key things to know…
- Sam Allardyce is the grandson of ‘Big Sam’, former Bolton, West Ham, Everton and England manager, among other teams.
- The teenager spent time in the Manchester United youth academy before moving to Bury.
- He has now signed his first professional contract, a one-year deal with League One side Oxford United.
- Manager Karl Robinson has compared Allardyce’s style of play with that of his grandfather.
Oxford finished 12th in League One this season and will be looking to push towards the play-off places next term.
While it may be too early for Allardyce to play regularly for The U’s in 2019/20 given his age, Robinson believes Oxford are building for the future with their recent signings.
“Sam is an ‘old-school’ defender. He reads the game really well and wants to win every ball and every header,” Robinson told the club’s official website.
“He is still quite raw but he has this real passion for the game and a natural enthusiasm.
“Kevin [Berkhoe] joining from Wolves means we have brought in two players who have spent time at big club academies and are hungry and want to push on and be part of the first team this season; I see the same thing in Aaron Heap and Aaron McCreadie, two local lads who joined yesterday.
“It is up to all four of them to work hard now, push senior players all the way and try and show what they can do and we will do all we can to help them continue to develop.”
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Allardyce “determined” to take his chance
Allardyce will be aiming to replicate his namesake, who made over 500 club appearances during a 21-year playing career.
After putting pen to paper with Oxford, the young centre-back says he is “determined” to take his chance at the Kassam Stadium.
“I came and had a look round and was really impressed with the way the club is set up and the way that Karl likes to try and help young players,” Allardyce said.
“It’s a big move for me, away from home and at an important stage of my career. I’ll come here and give it my all and am determined to make the most of the opportunity.”