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Slaven Bilic believes he could be ‘world-class’ as Everton chase Reece Oxford

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Slaven Bilic believes he could be ‘world-class’ as Everton chase Reece Oxford

Everton are said to be keen on a move for the West Ham talent.

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 up.

It is a fall from grace at the club for a player West Ham were so confident in as a 16-year-old. Oxford was handed a first-team debut for West Ham in the Europa League in July 2015 – making him the club’s youngest ever player at 16 years and 198 days.

(Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

He then became the Premier League’s second youngest ever starter, behind former Everton talent Jose Baxter, on the opening day of the 2015-16 season.


“Talking about keeping a lid on things, we are going to have to try and manage the situation regarding Reece Oxford, following his terrific Premier League debut for us.

“We can’t expect people to ignore Reece after that display. I am 46-years-old but he made an impact on me.”

– Slaven Bilic after Oxford’s Premier League debut


He was deployed in holding midfield for an injury struck West Ham and excelled. He shackled Mesut Ozil, at the time an assist machine, as West Ham picked up a memorable 2-0 win at The Emirates v Arsenal.

He was handed his debut by former West Ham manager Slaven Bilic. The Croatian, is of course, also something of a cult sensation at Everton. He spent two seasons at the club, where injuries, unfortunately, stopped fans seeing the best of the defender.


“I am delighted and it is major news for both the Club and the player that he has committed his long-term future to West Ham United.

“I really believe he has got everything. On paper he has all the abilities to become a world-class player and it is now up to him to train hard and for us to manage him well for him to fulfill it.”

Slaven Bilic after Oxford signed new West Ham deal in December 2016

 


He raved about Oxford during the early days of his breakthrough at West Ham.

 

But, prior to Bilic leaving, the pair appeared to have a frosty relationship. There was contract dispute between the club and Oxford and he was no longer in first-team reckoning. Instead, loan spells at Reading and Borussia Monchengladbach followed.


“Someone recognised him to be nominated for the Golden Boy award.

“If he goes one way and thinks he is [Kylian] Mbappe then that’s wrong, he needs to use this in the right way.

“He has got it in him, get his place and start playing regularly.”

 – Slaven Bilic speaking after Oxford was nominated for Golden Boy award


But, if Everton can get him in on the cheap, there is no doubting the 19-year-old still has bags of untapped ability.

If they can locate that and get Oxford back on track, it will be the positive words of Bilic that make the most sense.

Mathew Nash

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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