Oxford must return from Gladbach, West Ham need him

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West Ham United have struggled to excel this season, enduring the same problems they did in their debut season at the London Stadium, and numerous bad decisions have been made along the way from all involved.

The summer signings of Javier Hernandez, Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart and Marko Arnautovic raised hopes ahead of the new campaign but the quartet of new arrivals have failed to lead West Ham to brighter performances- shown by the fact that Hernandez’ three goals thus far have all come in defeats.

West Ham’s attack has certainly been failing to impress but the defence has also been at fault, conceding 13 goals thus far- a tally only rock-bottom Crystal Palace have a worse record than, which shows the wealth of problems at the club.

Amidst all this, the decision to send Reece Oxford on-loan to Borussia Monchengladbach, where he’s yet to make his debut, is a choice that appears to be significantly wrong. Whilst there’s no guarantee he would have improved the defensive line vastly, it would have provided some belief.

West Ham are lacking homegrown heroes that the club can get behind, with midfielder Mark Noble now ageing, and the fans are increasingly getting on the club’s back. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon, especially if West Ham fail to get positive results.

None of West Ham’s defenders have shown themselves in the best of light in recent years, yet Oxford presents a bright spark- something he has done ever since his debut against Arsenal, where a memorable performance left the Gunners stunned at the Emirates Stadium.

Bilic has kept Oxford protected ever since, a decision that is admirable to ensure that the talented player remained level-headed and under significantly less pressure, but there comes a time where a talented young player is bled into the side. For Oxford, that time has passed.

Overlooking the defender now is a choice that is wrong. He’s needed and, if he continues to be cast aside, then there is a huge risk his services could be snapped-up by a rival side. After all, why would Oxford stay put if he doesn’t get the chance he deserves?

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