West Ham United are reportedly interested in a deal to bring Augsburg defender Reece Oxford back to the club, according to reports.
As per ExWHUemployee, the Hammers are huge admirers of the academy graduate and are tracking the 23-year-old’s progress in Germany, although doubts remain as to the player’s enthusiasm to return to the London Stadium.
Asked about the ‘possible chances’ of the Englishman making the switch back to England, the trusted insider stated: “Firstly I have been really impressed with Oxford, he’s done very well in Germany this season and has been receiving some very good reviews. There is definitely talk of him wanting to return to England, potentially with us. Whilst there are people at West Ham who still rate him very highly at this stage I don’t believe he would be prepared to return at this point.”
The centre-back had previously made 17 senior appearances for the east London outfit before eventually joining his current side on a permanent deal in 2019, having also previously spent time on loan at both Reading and Borussia Monchengladbach.
That news will no doubt pique the interest of the club’s supporters, although it would appear that GSB and manager David Moyes will have to work their magic to try and tempt the youngster into a return to his old stomping ground.
A guarantee of regular game time will likely be high on the agenda for the £9m-rated gem, having admitted that he had originally departed the club due to a lack of minutes, revealing that there was “not a pathway” into the first-team by the end of his time at the club.
The £11k-per-week star had burst onto the scene at the age of just 16, becoming the Hammers’ youngest ever player after making his debut in a Europa League qualification clash in July 2015, before starting his first Premier League game just a month later away at Arsenal.
Despite that remarkable nod of faith by manager Slaven Bilic, Oxford went on to make just eight top-flight outings in total over the next few seasons, failing to make a single league appearance during the 2016/17 campaign.
Perhaps simply a case of too much too soon, the Edmonton born starlet was forced to reinvigorate his career away from England, although has since blossomed away from the limelight in the Bundesliga.
As he proved in the most recent campaign, his return to his former club would not be for solely sentimental reasons, with his form warranting a move to a side competing in Europe and challenging in the upper echelons of Europe’s toughest league.
In 30 league games this season, he has averaged a remarkable 5.6 clearances per game, as well as o.9 tackles and 2.4 interceptions, while also winning a solid 62% of his aerial duels and keeping nine clean sheets.
Typically deployed as part of a back three – although also comfortable as a defensive midfielder – the former England U20 international also ranks in the top 2% for interceptions made by centre-backs across Europe’s top five leagues, as well as in the top 9% for touches in the attacking penalty area, with the 6 foot 4 giant a handful at both ends of the pitch.
With a new centre-back addition needed next season for Moyes and co, Oxford could well be the man to fill the void, with the club’s supporters set to be delighted to welcome back a familiar face who is beginning to realise his early promise.