Colchester United have clinched the signing of left-back Cole Kpekawa from Championship side Barnsley.

The 21-year-old defender has signed an initial one-year deal with the U's, having spent nearly two months on loan at the Weston Homes Community Stadium from Queens Park Rangers in the 2014-15 campaign.

Kpekawa started his career at QPR and in addition to the U's, had loan spells at Portsmouth and Leyton Orient during his time at Loftus Road.

The 6ft 3in defender made nine appearances for Rangers before leaving the West London club to join Barnsley for a fee of £450,000, last summer when he linked up with fellow former U's players George Moncur and Elliot Lee.

But Kpekawa managed only four league starts during his time at Oakwell and is now ready to embark on a new challenge in League Two, with the U's.

Kpekawa is Colchester's third summer signing, following Ryan Jackson and Rene Gilmartin in moving to the U's.