KARL Robinson may have been the key to Samir Carruthers’ move to Oxford United but glowing references from fellow players made it an even easier decision.

The 25-year-old joined the U’s on a season-long loan from Sky Bet Championship side Sheffield United yesterday.

It ended nearly a five-week wait for the club to make their second signing of the summer, after full back Cameron Norman put pen to paper last month.

Head coach Robinson had made no secret of his desire to bring Carruthers to United after he was made surplus to requirements by the Blades, where he still has two years left on his contract.

The pair worked together at Milton Keynes Dons and the attacking midfielder helped the side win promotion from League One in 2014-15.

But it was not just the U’s boss who persuaded him to join.

Winger Rob Hall, a good friend of Carruthers from their days together at Stadium MK, as well as former Oxford stars John Lundstram and George Baldock, who are at Sheffield United, also spoke highly of the club.

Carruthers, whose competitive debut will be against Barnsley on Saturday, August 4, after the fixtures were announced yesterday morning, said: “One of the main reasons (I signed) was Karl.

“I know how he wants to play and that suits me.

“I had to think about if someone wants to get the best out of me, where am I going to go.

“I added everything up and I thought this was going to be the best place for me to come and play.

“Also, I had people like George, Lundstram, Rob Hall and Karl all in my ear, making me want to come here.”

The Republic of Ireland Under 21 international was on the books at Arsenal, but made his professional debut with Aston Villa six years ago.

Robinson took him on loan to Stadium MK in 2013 and made the move permanent a year later, going on to win promotion to the Championship in 2015.

Carruthers joined Sheffield United for an estimated £250,000 in January 2017, but started only nine games in 18 months as injury hampered his progress.

He is now looking to kick on after a frustrating period.

Carruthers said: “I’ve been a bit quiet the last six months.

“I haven’t been playing, it’s been a bit of a difficult time, but I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

Carruthers, who also won promotion from League One with the Blades in 2016-17, was a regular under Robinson at MK Dons.

The U’s boss is excited to see what he can do at Oxford.

He said: “Samir has a fantastic pedigree and during the time I worked with him I always thought he had the ability to get back to playing at the very highest level.

“He has been involved in a couple of promotions, and he has an honesty and enthusiasm that the Oxford fans will like.”

“He is a great character around the place so I think it’s a really exciting signing.”