'I'd like to hope so': Player sold by West Ham thinks he can be in the England squad soon
Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

'I'd like to hope so': Player sold by West Ham thinks he can be in the England squad soon

Ex West Ham player Reece Oxford, who revealed to the Daily Mail people around him believed him to be ‘the next Rio Ferdinand,’ has told Goal that he ‘hopes’ he can be in the mix for the England squad in the near future.

Oxford has been plying his trade in the Bundesliga since West Ham sold him in 2019 to FC Augsburg in a move that should have got more attention than it did, considering what the young Englishman represented at West Ham.

Oxford was once West Ham’s youngest ever debutant (aged 16 in a Europa League match against Lusitanos in 2015). He was lauded for several stellar performances for the West Ham first team that season which earned him 27th place in Goal’s 2016 Nxgn best teenage players list. He seemed to be on track to be the next Hammers academy superstar.

Things, however, did not turn out that way. After falling out of the first team and struggling in a loan spell at Reading, Oxford chose to move out to German club Augsburg to “get away from everything” in 2019. It was a move that relit the spark in him.

With Augsburg toiling in a relegation battle this year, Oxford has been a shining light, leading his club’s stat-sheet in interceptions and clearances, this is something he hopes Gareth Southgate will pick up on eventually.  

“The stats are proving I could be on the radar, but I’ve spoken to no-one, no-one has spoken to me.”

He is taking encouragement, however, from others in a similar position to him getting an England opportunity irrespective of their club team.

“Kyle [Walker-Peters] has just been called up and he’s a good friend, I’m happy for him, he’s playing well and got the recognition for it.

“Hopefully one day I will, that’s the end goal for me.”

Photo by Matt Lewis – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Is Oxford likely to be called up for England soon?

At the moment, probably not. English players playing abroad have been notoriously undervalued in the past, although, Gareth Southgate has shown more of a willingness to include them recently as Oxford has mentioned himself.

“I think you have more of an advantage if you’re in the Premier League, it’s easier to be seen.”

“But you can see Jude [Bellingham] doing good out here, Tammy [Abraham] is doing good abroad, so it’s not impossible.”

Unfortunately for Reece however, his position on the field and the relative obscurity of his club does not allow for the dramatic impact on a football pitch that gets you noticed by your international manager.

His former West Ham coach Terry Westley believes that Oxford will have to “pick the right club” in the Premier League if he wants to get into the England setup.

“If he has aspirations, and wants to play for England, then a return to the Premier League would give him that opportunity.”

“What would I advise? Pick the right club”

Oxford would be an attractive prospect to a Premier League club, with experience under his belt, time on his side (he is still only 23), and valuable homegrown status attached to his name.

Oxford’s ‘hope’ of an international call-up could become reality if he could keep his current form up back in the Premier League. He just needs to stay focused.

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