West Ham is reportedly making desperate efforts to secure the long-term future of their 15-year-old starlet, Reece Oxford.
The interest shown by Premier League elite clubs in securing his signature, has forced The Hammers to open talks with Oxford’s representatives over an improved deal to lie him down to a contract at Upton Park and possibly setting up his progression to the seniors.
Oxford is seen as a great promising prospect for the Hammers. The England Under-16 international has already trained with the club’s first team, and he may well be on his way to get a first team chance to play in the Premier League soon. Despite being 15, he has already turned out for West Ham’s Under-18s side, as well as their U15s and U16s and the Hammers are doing all they can to persuade him to stay despite strong interest shown from Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, with Arsenal understood to be in pole position for the player’s signature.
As we all are aware, Wenger has the ability to get out the best from young players and this has already occurred with Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas, getting them at a very young age and eventually converting them into great players. The same is likely to happen if this target arrives at the Emirates. Oxford and current U-18 solid defender Isaac Hayden would form the perfect defensive partnership.
The Arsenal Academy is listed among the most productive academies in the English football and abroad, by signing someone like Oxford, the club will be making a great step into securing the future. The likes of Olsson, Bellerin, Akpom, Crowley, Toral, Hayden and Gedion Zelalem ( who has been termed the new Cesc Fabregas) all awaiting to progress in the first squad. According to many watchers of Arsenal youth teams, the current crop are the best at the club in recent time. It’s fair to admit that every single first squad player has its own heir, all solid to occupy the void of a departing or retiring player in a few years’ time.
A very vivid example of what Arsene has in mind regarding the youths and how much he relies on them, is the latest Arsenal signing, Mathieu Debuchy. As reported before the World Cup, Arsenal was very keen on the young and promising Ivory Coast right-back Serge Aurier.
The player himself was pushing for a move to the Emirates, and at that stage one could see it as a reasonable and a perfect signing for the right-back position left void after Sagna’s departure. Despite the irresistible ability of the player, Wenger decided to sign an experienced defender instead, providing space for the passionate Carl Jenkinson to step up in the future, and most probably for Hector Bellerin as well.
This is a great testament to Wenger’s willingness to give the youth a chance to progress into the first team which may be the key in convincing Oxford to move from West Ham to Arsenal.