West Ham supporters have been slightly more upbeat in the Transfer Tavern in recent times despite heading into the New Year in the Premier League’s bottom three, although victory over West Brom this evening would move them out of the mire.
David Moyes’ men slipped into the relegation zone courtesy of Bournemouth’s 2-1 victory over Everton on December 30, which came just a few days after the Cherries managed to snatch a 3-3 draw from their meeting with the Hammers thanks to Callum Wilson’s late leveller. And although the East London outfit lost to Newcastle the game before that as well, a run of just one defeat in five has renewed the confidence among our resident West Ham fans that their team can avoid the drop this season, yet matches like this evening’s against West Brom will surely underpin their survival chances.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for those Hammers fans lining up at the bar to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that Borussia Monchengladbach have launched a £10 million bid for defender Reece Oxford.
The 19-year-old spent the first half of the campaign at the German club before being recalled by manager Moyes just a few days ago, yet the Bundesliga outfit clearly liked what they saw (even if he only played four times) as they have reportedly made a £10 million offer for his services.
Yet the Hammers should not be interested in allowing the highly-rated and versatile starlet a permanent move this month, as he could well play a key role in helping the club avoid the drop this season.
Ultimately, West Ham have the second worst defensive record in the division so far this season, with Stoke City (47) the only side to have conceded more.
And although Moyes has certainly helped improve them defensively since arriving with clean sheets against Arsenal and Chelsea, concerns must be raised at conceding three against a goal-shy Newcastle, and three against Bournemouth last time out.
And when one looks at the current options at Moyes’ disposal, especially in the centre-back department, it doesn’t strike of much confidence, which is why Oxford should be given an opportunity. Add in his versatility as a defensive midfielder, another department who have come in for criticism this term, and the chance could be there.
The 19-year-old is clearly highly-rated – Manchester United were linked with him not too long ago – and some of his previous appearances for the Hammers suggested that he could go on to become a star.
And although he did only make four appearances for Monchengladbach last term, two of these came from the start in his last two games at the club – he had clearly fought his way into first team reckoning, only for Moyes to recall him just a few days ago. Yet the signs were promising.
Monchengladbach clearly rate him, a £10 million bid is not to be scoffed at, yet the ball is now firmly in Moyes’ court to either give him the chance needed in the first team, or let his development continue somewhere else. Many of our resident West Ham fans feel it should continue at the London Stadium.
And given current predicament West Ham are in, as well as the impact the 19-year-old could make, Oxford must not be allowed to leave this month.
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