According to a recent report from The Sun, Reece Oxford could be set for a move away come the New Year. The 19-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League outfit West Ham having come up through the ranks at the East London club, although a lack of first team football under new manager Manuel Pellegrini this season has plunged his future at the London Stadium into doubt.
And reports suggest that the England Under-20 international is seeking to remain in the Premier League were he to leave West Ham, but given his testing loan spells previously, alongside the fact that he can’t force his way in Pellegrini’s first team plans, he may have to re-consider his ambitions come the New Year.
Instead, a move to Marcelo Bielsa’s high-flying Leeds United would be ideal for the £4.5 million-rated sensation (as per Transfermarkt), what with the Whites clearly in need of bulking out their squad ahead of the second half of the Championship season.
Ultimately, the Yorkshire giants have again got themselves into promotion contention in the second tier having won eight of their 17 league games this term, with excitement thus building among Leeds fans that this could finally be the year their side return to the Premier League.
However, those supporters will surely be wary of what has happened in the last two seasons given they were in this position on both occasions in those two years, only to run out of steam as the campaign came to a close, with their seventh place effort under Garry Monk the highest they achieved despite an encouraging start.
Yes, things do feel slightly different this time round under Bielsa, given just how much he has improved the squad in the last few months, but the lack of squad depth is sure to become a problem as the season wears on – add the FA Cup into the mix come the New Year, and three games a week will become the norm in the second half of the campaign.
And the centre back ranks are one area that will surely be in need of reinforcements in the January window, what with Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper the only senior centre halves currently fit due to the injury to Gaetano Berardi.
And that is why a move for West Ham’s Oxford makes complete sense, both for the player himself in a bid for first team football under the stewardship of the brilliant Bielsa, but also for Leeds in terms of adding further quality in deepening the squad, and thus strengthening their promotion hopes.
The 19-year-old may have made a fast start to his senior career at the tender age of 16, but he has since then seen his progress stall with just 17 appearances for the Hammers, alongside two testing loan spells at Borussia Monchengladbach and Reading.
However, there is clearly a very talented defender in Oxford just waiting to be fulfilled, what with the 19-year-old hugely adept with the ball at his feet both in possession but also to pick a pass, while he has much-needed defensive traits as well given he is aerially strong and reads the game well – and given how Bielsa has brought the best out of several Leeds players this term, he could well do the same with Oxford.
And that could be invaluable to Bielsa’s Leeds in the second half of the season, as there are certainly some concerns about the depth of the squad ahead of a promotion push – the last two years have proven that as well.
As such, not only would a move to Leeds be in the best interests of Oxford, but it also be in the best interests of a Leeds side seeking a return to the Premier League this season.
Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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