According to a recent report from Marca, Reece Oxford could be set for a move away this summer. 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 with only 17 senior appearances to his name so far, it doesn’t look as though the versatile youngster is likely to command regular football at the London Stadium anytime soon.
And reports suggest that La Liga side Eibar are keen on sealing a deal for the defender, which should alert Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis, and indeed prompt the Boro chief into making a move which would further strengthen his team’s backline.
Ultimately, the Teessiders have started the new Championship season well with four wins and a draw from their opening five matches, in which time they have only shipped two goals.
As such, it may appear that manager Pulis doesn’t need to add a great deal to his defensive unit given how strong and solid they have been so far this term, but by playing three at the back, as he did in the 1-0 win over West Brom, one is immediately going to need more options to call upon to play in the heart of his defence.
Daniel Ayala, Aden Flint, and Dael Fry were the three selected at the Riverside Stadium on Friday night to help defeat the Baggies, but Paddy McNair was the only other option that can play in that position on the bench for the Boro boss – thus, one more addition in that area of the field could be needed to deal with the long, hard slog that is a Championship campaign.
And 19-year-old Oxford could be the ideal man given he has all the attributes needed to be a top-quality modern day centre back, be it strength aerially and in the tackle, or indeed the ability to play out from the back with composure on the ball, and then being able to pick a pass.
Yes, his previous loan spells at Reading and Borussia Monchengladbach haven’t gone to plan, but there is little doubting that the West Ham youngster has huge talent and potential just waiting to be fulfilled – there’s a reason Manchester United were keen on him a matter of years ago.
Add in his ability to play in a more defensive-minded midfield role, thus providing Pulis with another option, and it’s clear that Oxford could be a huge asset to the Boro boss, most notably in helping him further strengthen the Middlesbrough backline.
Boro fans… what do you think? Let us know!