After Reece Burke's impressive display, does another West Ham youngster deserve a first-team chance?

West Ham

Reece Burke played the full 90 minutes of West Ham’s 0-0 draw with QPR, and that could open the door for Reece Oxford’s debut.

It was Burke's third appearance in a senior Hammers shirt, and the 18-year-old did little wrong.

His delivery was slightly poor, and his concentration started to slip towards the latter stages of the game, but to keep a clean sheet against a side containing Charlie Austin was impressive, and it was a performance that shone brightly on the youngster's future.

However, he was not the only youngster to be named in Sam Allardyce’s matchday squad, with 16-year-old central defender Reece Oxford on the substitutes bench.

Oxford, captain of England’s Under-17 side, has been on the bench for the Hammers five times this season, but he has yet to take to the field. Unfortunately, his inclusion has never coincided with a victory, reducing his chances of taking to the field of play.

It would be more likely to see him play if there was no chance of a loss, and the fears of conceding were minimal, with the outcome of a goal against doing nothing to affect the final result of a game.

However, Burke started the game and impressed, and although he is two years older than his Hammers compatriot, it suggests that Oxford could be given a chance this season, regardless of the matchday situation.

It is unlikely that the 16-year-old will start a game, or even play an excessive amount of football, but he may finally be given the chance to make his debut with Allardyce having his faith in youth repaid after Burke's top level display.

It is hard to suggest a reason as to why Oxford should not play, with the Hammers’ season drawing to a close in a rather tepid manner, and at least it would give him a taste of football in a competitive environment.

The chances of him and Burke lining up together is minimal, but, with both making an impact on the first-team this term, the West Ham fans could finally get a viewing of their future centre-back partnership in action with a few weeks remaining of the Premier League season.

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