Manchester United tend to pride themselves on supporting younger players. However, Reece Oxford, of early season West Ham fame, would be a fool to move to Old Trafford at this time. The Hammer has been linked with a move to the North West already this summer and it looks as though he will be subject to interest from across the country.
Oxford starred for West Ham with an excellent early season performance against Arsenal, but, since then, has failed to really nail down a regular place in the side and had to rely on injuries or suspension to get any sort of role in the XI. Slaven Bilic is not short of options in Oxford’s roles, unfortunately.
The defender, who can also slot into a midfield position, only made three league starts for the east London club last season. However, it would be a massive mistake to be lured in by a move to Old Trafford.
Here are FIVE reasons why…
Jose Mourinho’s invincibility cloak was whipped off last season. ‘The Special One’ seems to have had his golden touch tarred slightly and it will take a storming start to his time at Manchester United for it to return.
Youngsters are seldom a part of Mourinho’s planning, anyway, and his short-term challenge at United will just make that harder for any player of Oxford’s inexperience to get minutes. Mourinho might envisage a longer future at Old Trafford and, if he does, then it might change Oxford’s decision, but that would only happen in a year or two.
West Ham might look like they’ve got a fair amount of midfield and defensive depth at the moment, but the lingering Europa League campaign will give plenty of opportunity for fringe players to step up.
Despite Kouyate and Noble’s stranglehold on the midfield roles, Oxford would definitely be a viable option for Bilic in the midfield. Oxford’s own versatility gives him an upper hand on many who are trying to make their breakthrough.
Manchester United, even without all the signings they are likely to make this summer, have plenty of players in either of Oxford’s primary positions.
In the defensive midfield slot they have Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger, whilst at centre-back there are plenty of players who have slotted in alongside Chris Smalling. The crucial run of starts that any young player needs would be pretty damn hard to come by at United.
Jose Mourinho has a penchant for loaning out youngsters he doesn’t quite fancy.
The move to Old Trafford would award Oxford with a monstrous pay-day, sure, but would it help his development? Across the whole of the country, it seems to be so rare that a player returns to have much success from a lengthy loan period.
Youngsters got a sniff at Manchester United this season, admittedly, but that was largely down to an onslaught of injuries.
The pressure for success next season at Old Trafford is going to be phenomenal. Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal will all be piling the pressure on the sleeping giants of Premier League football and there is only so much that can be done with youngsters.
Oxford would be way down the pecking order and unlucky to get much big match experience.