But it’s fair to say he looked well short of such a price tag on Sunday.
Having spent the 2017/18 season on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach, the 20-year-old returned to the Bundesliga during the January transfer window, signing for Augsburg on a temporary basis until the end of the season.
Though Oxford’s first league start in Augsburg colours hardly went according to plan.
Martin Baum’s out-of-form side were thrashed 4-0 at an inspired Werder Bremen with Oxford one of the worst of a bad bunch. The versatile youngster started at centre-back and was left exposed again and again while his role in Bremen’s third goal, fired home in style by Milot Rashica, didn’t make for pretty viewing.
Rashica cut inside and curled a stunning shot into the far corner, leaving Oxford in his backside in the process.
West Ham were obviously thinking about Oxford’s undoubted potential when demanding £26 million, but Sunday’s evidence shows that the so-called ‘new Rio Ferdinand’ has a lot of work to do.