It has been another frustrating summer for Rafael Benitez at Newcastle but relief could be found in the form of Reece Oxford.
The Magpies have seen funds restricted under Mike Ashley once again, limiting the work that Benitez can do with his squad at St. James’ Park, but a golden opportunity may have landed on their plate just days before the transfer window closes.
West Ham look set to offload England U20 international Reece Oxford before the window shuts, with Sky Sports (live blog, 3/08, 12:36pm) stating Everton are considering a move worth just £3m – a price that should definitely alert Newcastle to a possible deal.
Oxford made his Premier League debut at the age of just 16 on the opening day of the 2015/16 season, catching the eye in a defensive midfield role for the Hammers as they defeated Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
The versatile defender has struggled for opportunities since then, making just seven Premier League appearances in the three years since, and has spent time out on loan with Reading and Borussia Monchengladbach.
West Ham are willing to cash-in on the 19-year-old, who is tied at the London Stadium until 2021, and Football.London stated last month that the Hammers are seeking £10m for his services – a price-tag that seems to have led to reduced interest in the market.
“We can’t expect people to ignore Reece after that display. I am 46 years old but he made an impact on me. I would think that every West Ham supporter and many neutral football fans would feel the same way – it is human nature.”
The Hammers have spent heavily this summer and need to offload to balance the books, which leaves room for negotiation, and Newcastle need to move for Oxford – even if a deal is initially on loan with an option to buy at the end of the campaign.
With Florian Lejuene ruled out for a large chunk of the 2018-19 season, Newcastle need a defensive addition to partner Jamaal Lascelles in the heart of defence and Oxford is the perfect candidate to slot into that role.
Rated as one of the best prospects within English football a few seasons ago, Newcastle can benefit from the fact the teenager’s stock has dropped in the past two seasons and could provide the perfect platform for Oxford to get his career back-on-track.