What next for this one time West Ham wonderkid?

In July 2015, a fresh-faced youngster by the name of Reece Oxford took to the field to help West Ham United in their Europa League debut against FC Lusitanos.

They’d qualified by virtue of the UEFA Fair Play regulations and fielded a youthful side against the Andorrans. Josh Cullen, an exciting central midfielder played, as did Reece Burke, a central defender. By far the most cultured display came from a 16-year old by the name of Reece Oxford.

In making his debut that warm summer night, he became the youngster ever player to star for West Ham. In a side famed for developing cultured youngsters with big futures such as Lampard, Ferdinand and Carrick, he became the most exciting of them all.

He clearly impressed in the competition, playing in the second leg and in the first match against Astra Giurgiu. That game saw many first-team players return to the side, including Dimitri Payet and James Collins. Oxford kept his place.

He made his Premier League debut against Arsenal and was lauded for marking Mesut Ozil out of a game the Hammers won 2-0. He came off with 11 minutes to go to a huge ovation, swapping places with Kevin Nolan. It seemed poetic; one industrious midfielder rising as the other made a late cameo on his way out.

Reece Oxford 2

Nolan, with 130 starts for West Ham, played one more game. The king was dead, long live the king.

This new king, the star rising, didn’t live long. He made 12 appearances that season, earning himself a new deal, but following more Europa League action the following season, he was sent out to Reading.

There were no Premier League appearances for Oxford in 2016/17. West Ham, as wide as 20/1 to be relegated in the 2018/19 Premier League betting, were flirting dangerously with it at the start of November 2017, meaning Oxford’s mentor and champion Slaven Bilic was sacked.

Not long after, the tall, languid youngster was farmed out to Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. He was looking to follow in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho and other exciting English youngsters making the grade in Germany. His loan was cut short.

Two more West Ham appearances followed in the FA Cup against Shrewsbury and Wigan, as well as a run out against Crystal Palace in the Premier League, before Oxford was back on a flight to Germany. Again, his game time with Monchengladbach was limited and he returned this summer much further away from the first team than he’s ever been.

Despite interest from abroad this summer, he opted to remain and fight for a first-team place under manager Manuel Pelligrini, but if there’s any indication of where he is right now, it has come from his only two appearances.

He’s been forced to turn out for the West Ham Under 21 side in their Checkatrade trophy games against Bristol Rovers and Exeter. He looked nervous and edgy against Bristol, contributing to one of their goals as the Hammers youth lost 2-0.

Where now for the one-time wonderkid? He’s the youngest ever to play for West Ham, the second youngest starter in the Premier League ever and, yet, at the tender age of 19 years old, his career already needs rescuing.

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