Shandon Baptiste is a Brentford player after signing a four-and-a-half year contract earlier today, Friday 31 January. The 21-year-old joins The Bees from Oxford United for an undisclosed fee with his contract including the option of a further year.
Shandon came through the ranks at Reading before joining Oxford as a 17-year-old in the summer of 2015. The midfielder’s debut came against Stevenage in an EFL Trophy Group stage game in August 2017, just before he signed a new contract with The U’s. Then 19, Shandon spent the second half of the 17/18 season on loan at Hampton and Richmond Borough, playing 23 games for The Beavers as they made the National League South Play-Offs.
The midfielder made his full Oxford debut in an EFL Cup First Round match against Coventry City in August 2018 with his Sky Bet League One debut coming four days later, away at Portsmouth. His first senior goal came later that month in a 3–0 victory over Newport County in the Second Round of the EFL Cup. In the next round he captained The Us as they took on Cup holders and Premier League champions Manchester City.
A shoulder injury kept Shandon out until the New Year and when he did come back for an Emirates FA Cup tie against Brentford at Griffin Park, he suffered a serious knee injury. Shandon returned to action in August and quickly established himself as a key part of United’s promotion chasing side. He leaves The Kassam Stadium having made 18 League One appearances this term, scoring once.
The 21-year-old also started all-but one of United’s EFL Cup ties as they knocked out Millwall and West Ham United before their Quarter-Final defeat to Manchester City. Shandon hit the headlines earlier this month as he scored a sublime solo effort to help see off Hartlepool United in the Emirates FA Cup. A full Grenada international, Shandon arrives at Griffin Park with three goals in 43 professional appearances.
Brentford FC co-Director of Football, Rasmus Ankersen, said: “We have been following Shandon for several years, even before his injury, and when the opportunity to sign him now came about we didn’t hesitate. His talent is obvious, and we are confident that our environment and style of play can help him fulfil his potential"
Brentford FC Head Coach, Thomas Frank, said: “Shandon will be a brilliant addition to our squad. He has great one-on-one skills in the middle of the pitch. He is energetic, great on the ball and works very hard pressing when we do not have it. When we scouted him he looked like a Brentford player and it is great that we now have him as part of our squad.”