Date: 14th May 2019 at 4:12pm
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OPINION

Augsburg manager ’s comments about the club’s desire to keep hold of West Ham loanee could spell the end of the Englishman’s time at the London Stadium.

Oxford joined Bundesliga side Augsburg on loan for the rest of the season at the end of the January transfer window, after failing to make a Premier League appearance for West Ham during the first half of the campaign.

The 20-year-old had already spent time away from West Ham on loan in the Bundesliga last season with Borussia Monchengladbach, but he failed to force his way into Manuel Pellegrini’s plans in the opening half of the Chilean’s first season in charge of the club.

Oxford is thought to have impressed Augsburg during the second half of the season, with the Englishman making seven appearances for the German club who sit 14th in the Bundesliga table.

Schmidt has praised the potential of Oxford, and suggested that his side might look to make the 20-year-old’s move a permanent one during the forthcoming transfer window if the player is within his club’s budget.

“He certainly has potential to become a big guy,” Schmidt said as quoted by Kicker.

“It certainly has qualities, but it must not cost anything, it has to be in the budget.”

Oxford is under contract with West Ham until 2021, but with his opportunities being limited in recent campaigns under the likes of Slaven Bilic, David Moyes and now Pellegrini, it might be the ideal solution for him to leave the club this summer.

That would be something of a shame for his career at the London Stadium to end without the 20-year-old having made the sort of impact his promising start to life with the Hammers’ first team suggested he could have.

Oxford became West Ham’s youngest-ever Premier League player at the age of 16 when he made his debut in the Hammers’ 2-0 win at Arsenal in 2015, producing an excellent performance during the game suggesting he might be a vital part of the club’s future.

However, that promising start has now faded away and it might be best for Oxford to leave the club and set about rebuilding his career with guaranteed regular first team football more likely elsewhere, than with the Hammers at the moment.