Is Reece Oxford West Ham's new version of Rio Ferdinand?

West Ham's Reece Oxford

The incredibly talented youngster impressed in West Ham's 3-0 Europa League victory last night.

Rio FerdinandRio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand was one of the finest centre-backs to grace the Premier League, and West Ham United could have their very own version of the ex-Hammer in the form of 17-year-old Reece Oxford.

The versatile youngster can play in either midfield or defence, and announced himself to the Premier League last year with a wonderful display in the holding role during West Ham's 2-0 victory at Arsenal on the opening weekend of the season.

England's Reece Oxford celebrates scoring their first goalReece Oxford celebrates 

Oxford was ultimately used sparingly throughout the course of the 2015-16 season, making only 12 appearances, with the club hoping to protect the youngster.

Slaven Bilic put huge faith in him last night, however, as he was selected to start for the Hammers in their crucial Europa League tie against Slovenian outfit Domzale.

This time he was utilised in a deeper role, at the heart of West Ham's defence, and he did not put a foot wrong for 90 minutes. 

He was calm and composed, and put in a display that by oozing such maturity and class defied his tender years.

West Ham's Reece Oxford poses for a picture with fans as he holds the Under 21 Premier League trophyWest Ham's Reece Oxford poses for a picture with fans as he holds the Under 21 Premier League trophy

Oxford's performance was reminiscent of a young Rio Ferdinand when he burst on to the scene at Upton Park in 1996. The 17-year-old showcased the same range of passing that made Ferdinand such a wonderful asset to the teams he played for, whilst his reading of the game was of such a high standard that he never had to make any last-ditch tackles.

The sign of a great defender is being able to snuff out any potential danger before it even materialises - something that Ferdinand excelled in.

Oxford has similar attributes and stature to the former Manchester United defender, and if anything, he looks to be even further advanced than Ferdinand was at his age.

Hammers fans will be hoping he develops into the same kind of player that Rio eventually became, and if he goes on to achieve even half of what Ferdinand did, he will have an incredible career ahead of him.

West Ham's Reece Oxford on the substitutes benchWest Ham's Reece Oxford on the substitutes bench

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