Reece Oxford has explained how West Ham painted a bad picture of him after he left the London Stadium for Augsburg.
The 23-year-old sat down for an exclusive interview with the Telegraph and discussed his recent rise to prominence in the Bundesliga after his struggles with West Ham.
Oxford burst onto the scene in East London in 2015, making his Premier League debut against Arsenal, and he completely bossed the game.
Unfortunately for both the 23-year-old and West Ham, however, he failed to kick on from that point onwards.
After a couple of loan spells away from the London Stadium, he was sold permanently to Augsburg in the summer of 2019 for around £3 million (Daily Mail).
The word coming out of the club was that Oxford didn’t have the attitude or commitment needed to succeed at the very highest level.
Perhaps it was West Ham who handled the youngster’s rise incorrectly, however…
As Oxford began to struggle, Declan Rice emerged as the Hammers’ bright young hope.
Their careers were heading in exact opposite directions. And when Oxford was finally moved on permanently, there were suggestions that he just didn’t have the correct attitude needed to make it at the London Stadium and to play regular Premier League football.
That was an accusation that Oxford firmly denies and he explained everything when speaking to the Telegraph:
“Everyone thought I was superman and nobody knows what went on behind closed doors. I was never on my age group’s schedule with the gym work and everything. All the things you need to make sure your muscles are ready for the professional game. I never had the attitude they said I did. You can ask everyone around West Ham. That was the picture they painted and it wasn’t a good one.”
We honestly believe that had Oxford still been at West Ham when David Moyes took over for the second time, he would have been given the belief and correct man-management needed to fulfil his potential in the Claret and Blue.
He has been in sensational form for Augsburg this season.
The 23-year-old has played predominantly as a centre-back for the German side.
In 22 Bundesliga outings, Oxford has scored two goals and has averaged one tackle, 2.7 interceptions and 5.8 clearances per match. He’s also won an average of 2.2 aerial duels per game (Who Scored).
Who knows, perhaps one day he will come back to the Premier League and show just how good he is. We would actually love him back at the London Stadium.
Whether he would ever contemplate returning to West Ham is doubtful, however.