Report: West Ham teenager Reece Oxford to stay amid Premier League interest, has impressed Bilic

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic and Reece Oxford as he is substituted

Reece Oxford is set for an increased role at West Ham having impressed manager Slaven Bilic.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic and Reece Oxford as he is substitutedWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic and Reece Oxford as he is substituted

According to The Sun, West Ham United talent Reece Oxford is set to stay with the club – and could be handed a major first-team role by manager Slaven Bilic.

Oxford, 17, joined West Ham in 2011 having been on the books with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur before that, and Spurs' loss appears to be West Ham's gain, as Oxford is now one of English football's top young talents.

FC Lusitans’ Jose Aguilar and West Ham's Reece Oxford in actionFC Lusitans’ Jose Aguilar and West Ham's Reece Oxford in action

Compared to fellow West Ham academy product Rio Ferdinand as a central defender, Oxford hit the headlines this time last year with a superb performance on his Premier League debut against Arsenal – and that came whilst playing in holding midfield.

Oxford was protected by manager Slaven Bilic and made only six more Premier League appearances last season, but his displays had prompted major interest from Premier League rivals, with The Sun claiming that Manchester City and Manchester United both want to sign Oxford.

Everton's Romelu Lukaku in action with West Ham's Reece OxfordEverton's Romelu Lukaku in action with West Ham's Reece Oxford

However, that report states that Oxford is now set to stay at West Ham, and will be handed a first-team role by manager Bilic this season having impressed him this season.

James Tomkins' move to Crystal Palace means Oxford could become West Ham's fourth-choice centre back behind James Collins, Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid, whilst question marks over Pedro Obiang's future could mean that Oxford is considered for a midfield role again.

West Ham's Reece Oxford in action with Werder Bremen's Fin BartelsWest Ham's Reece Oxford in action with Werder Bremen's Fin Bartels

Oxford has a huge potential in either position, but the report claims that West Ham decided to sell Tomkins as they want to give Oxford opportunities at the back this season – and believe he has developed from going on international duty with the England Under-19's this summer.

West Ham will surely look to extend Oxford's contract now, with his current deal expiring in two years, as Premier League giants will continue to monitor his progress if Oxford does receive a great role under Bilic this season.

Would you prefer to see Oxford play in defence or midfield?

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