West Ham United have been dealt a blow this week with the news that Winston Reid will be out for the rest of the season. The New Zealand international suffered a nasty looking knee injury against Swansea City at the weekend and it has now been confirmed the injury is serious. The Kiwi is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines and given the severity of knee injuries is unlikely to be back before the start of next season.
West Ham, who will be hoping to still be in the Premier League next season, will no doubt be looking at bringing in some new faces at the back. However, the injury to Reid could provide the perfect opportunity to one of their most mercurial talents to finally make an impact.
Reece Oxford burst onto the scene back on the opening day of the 2015-16 season. With West Ham struggling for players Slaven Bilic threw Oxford in from the start in holding midfield v Arsenal. He earned rave reviews for marking Mesut Ozil out of the game as West Ham recorded a shock 2-0 win.
Since then he has failed to live up to the hype at West Ham. The 19-year-old has failed to make himself a permanent fixture at West Ham. He struggled during a loan spell at Reading last season and this term has been on loan with German club Borussia Monchengladbach.
His obvious talent has put him on the radar for a number of teams across Europe, including the German side.
But West Ham should consider giving him a real chance in the first-team from next season.
The Hammers should start by ensuring him he is in their plans from pre-season and give him the chance to fill the void left by Reid’s injury problems.
Oxford is a supremely talented football and at just 19 has plenty of growing still to do. West Ham have been struggling to find a way to take Oxford to the next level but giving him some responsibility during the summer and backing it up with a chance in the first-team could be perfect.
Otherwise, they risk losing one of the best talents to come out of the West Ham academy in a generation.