‘I was rejected by Tottenham,’ reveals West Ham wonderkid Reece Oxford

first_img1 West Ham wonderkid Reece Oxford West Ham wonderkid Reece Oxford has revealed London rivals Tottenham turned down the chance to sign him before he signed for the Hammers.The midfield starlet made a great impression in his Premier League debut on Sunday, becoming the Hammers’ youngest ever first-team player – aged 16 years and 236 days – in the brilliant 2-0 win at Arsenal.FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WEST HAM DEBUTANT REECE OXFORDHe justified what had appeared a risky selection from manager Slaven Bilic by displaying a maturity which belied his tender age to largely nullify the collective threat of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla.Oxford joined West Ham at Under-13 level after leaving Tottenham and, ultimately, Spurs’ loss could repeatedly prove their rivals’ gain.“I was at Tottenham for a while, but they did not want me, and I went to West Ham, which was the best option for me,” said the London-born youngster.“I was a striker back then [at Spurs].“The [West Ham] youth academy is great. They like to push players, we have a few youngsters playing [in the] under-21s, which is good.“West Ham have been giving the young players a chance who are coming through.“Last season I was on the bench a few times, so I expected to be around the team again this season, but not starting against Arsenal.”Oxford, who can also play in defence but anchored West Ham’s midfield on Sunday, is already being compared to former Upton Park graduate and England captain Rio FerdinandWhen asked about the comparison, the youngster said: “I have heard that a lot. It is good, he was great, so me being compared to him is an honour really.“I have not played centre-back in a while, I can play both.“It was just an honour to play. I found out on Saturday night, I was speaking about Match of the Day, and said that tomorrow I could be on it.“[Bilic] asked me to sit and talk to everyone to help get them into position, not to let Arsenal catch us out on the break, to keep it simple and not try to do too much.“The manager said my performance was good, it was a dream debut for me.”Cheikhou Kouyate, whose first-half header gave West Ham the lead, played alongside Oxford in midfield and understandably praised his performance.“It is unbelievable, that at 16 years old he is playing for West Ham, so easily with no stress,” he said.“Before the game, I told him ‘I believe in you’.”last_img

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