OXFORD United expect to hear next week whether they will be able to keep Tyler Roberts on loan for the rest of the season.

The 17-year-old’s initial deal from parent club West Bromwich Albion expires on January 3, but the U’s are keen to arrange an extension.

Roberts, who had one brief substitute appearance to his name when he joined in the summer, has made five starts in 16 appearances this season, scoring twice.

United head coach Michael Appleton has made contact with the Baggies and is waiting for an answer.

He said: “We’d certainly like to keep hold of him, there’s no doubt about it.

“I spoke to Darren Moore (West Brom’s professional development phase coach) over the weekend about one or two things, including Tyler.

“I know they have a meeting early next week to discuss the players they’ve got out on loan.

“We’ll get an indication from them what they’re thinking at that time as well.

“He’s only going to get better.

“My concern would be if West Brom didn’t allow him to stay, whoever he went to next would get the benefits of what he’s done with us for the last six months.

“He has had opportunities to play and will continue to get minutes on the pitch.

“Hopefully that will be good enough for him to hang around.”

Roberts has shown glimpses of why West Brom rate him so highly.

The Wales Under 19 international scored the winning penalty on Tuesday night as United won a Checkatrade Trophy tie at Southend.

It was just the sort of contribution Roberts was hoping to make when speaking before the match.

The forward said: “I feel I’ve had the chances, but I don’t think I’ve shown completely what I can do.

“I’d have liked to have scored more goals and impact the games more.

But in general terms, Roberts has enjoyed the time playing under Appleton.

He said: “It’s been a great experience. I’ve learned far more than I thought I would .

“I’ve come here and been given the chance at a young age, so I’m thankful for that.”

The Checkatrade Trophy third round draw will be made at 11.30am today – see oxfordmail.co.uk/sport for details of United’s opponents.