In Focus: West Ham face tough decision on Oxford’s future after lack of progress

According to reports in The Mirror, West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic is reportedly ready to sell forgotten defender Reece Oxford during the January transfer window.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Mirror says that Bilic chose to take a public swipe at the 18-year-old defender by saying that he shouldn’t believe he is on a par with someone like Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe, after both players were nominated for the Golden Boy award.

Oxford is currently on a season-long loan deal with Borussia Monchengladbach having failed to build on the first team breakthrough he made with the Irons at the start of the 2015/16 campaign, but his manager’s latest comments may have thrown his long-term future at the London Stadium into doubt.

The Mirror adds that the teenager is still highly-regarded by the east London outfit, and Bilic’s remarks are unlikely to go down well considering the likes of Manchester United were sniffing around the centre-back before he signed a new five-year deal.

How has Oxford done during his loan spell?

While Monchengladbach took him on a temporary basis to aid his development, as they had done with Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen previously, the 18-year-old is yet to play a single minute of Bundesliga football this season after being an unused substitute in all of their seven fixtures so far.

What happens next?

While Bilic’s comments probably were a little ill-advised, the Croatian boss is perhaps right in a way because Oxford has failed to make the progress that would have been expected of him following such an impressive debut against Arsenal on the opening day of the 2015/16 Premier League campaign.

The 18-year-old only made five appearances for Championship side Reading in the second half of last season after joining them on loan during the January transfer window, and his failure to make an impression in England’s second tier certainly suggests that either he isn’t good enough right now, or he has the wrong mentality.