Everton are set to test West Ham’s resolve over Reece Oxford, with a £3 million bid expected to be lodged. Sky Sports report that Everton are ready to battle with Borussia Monchengladbach for the player’s services, with his time at West Ham seemingly coming to an end.
If West Ham fans were told they might be selling Oxford to a league rival for just £3 million in the summer of 2015, they would have laughed.
He had just come off the back of a great pre-season. In July, he made his debut, in a Europa League qualifying tie. Then, on the opening day of the Premier League season, became the second youngest starter in Premier League history.
He then thrived in that game, man-marking Mesut Ozil out of proceedings with a stunning display.
So when did it all go downhill?
If you trace it back, Oxford’s first big struggle came when he faced his potential new side Everton in March 2016.
He played at centre-back in that game and was ran ragged for 45 minutes by Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian destroyed the teenager throughout the tie for pace, power and intelligence. There is, of course, no shame in that. Everton stormed into a 2-0 lead in that game. Oxford was hauled off at half-time and the Hammers roared back to win 3-2.
The young talent has played just two more times in the Premier League since. Both of those appearances came from the bench, totaling at seven minutes.
Oxford’s time at West Ham started to go downhill from the moment, at far too young an age, he was tasked with trying to stop a force of nature like Everton’s Lukaku.
Now it seems that demise may help Everton snap up an absolute steal.