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Reece Oxford Is Gone On Loan And I Don’t Know How To Feel

Another season, and another loan spell for West Ham’s raved youngster Reece Oxford. This season, the promising center back prospect, who has been threatening a breakthrough, will spend his time in the German Bundesliga. Oxford will join 9th place Borussia Mönchengladbach to develop his craft. So, why then do I not know how to feel about a loan spell to a top league team?

The pros to the move are pretty straight forward. Oxford could hone his abilities against world class talent in Germany’s first football league, rather than Championship quality players like his previous loan at Reading. First team football would also be better than playing on the West Ham under-21 squad and/or being a bench option for the first team. At 18 years old, Oxford needs to be playing and the better the quality of competition, the better it will be for West Ham in the long run.

As for the cons, there are really just two issues that come to mind. Firstly, Oxford was unable to crack the starting roster at Reading FC last season on his loan. Ironically, West Ham ended up depleted at the center back position and could have possibly installed him on their back line, especially when Slaven Bilic moved to a three center back line. The Reading loan was promising as manager Jaap Stam, a formidable defender in his day, was ideal to groom Oxford in his development. However, his lack of playing time was essentially a waste of the West Ham player in a crucial year in his development.

Secondly, Oxford could potentially have featured in the first team this season for West Ham. The past few years Oxford has been seen as the jewel of their academy development team, and while a loan is a strong developmental move, so is Premier League football. He could have been insulated by the likes of Winston Reid, Jose Fonte, Angelo Ogbonna, and James Collins, while battling with other youngsters like Declan Rice and Reece Burke for bench or first team positions.

Overall, I suppose the move is good if Oxford is a starter for his new German club. After the debacle at Reading, I would hope first team minutes at Mönchengladbach would have been negotiated for. Realistically, unless injury strikes, Oxford would have been challenged to make the West Ham first team. Should he be needed, he can be recalled in the January transfer window, a move I would also like to see if he is not getting playing time as well.

Adam Smith
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Adam Smith

West Ham United Writer at The Runner Sports
Proud supporter of the Claret and Blue, West Ham United!
Actively interested in transfer news, match reports, developing story lines, and all things West Ham United!
Adam Smith
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