Teamwork makes the dream work

West Ham had a much bigger expertise than Rice however now he is value lower than Johnson


Would it not be truthful to assert that West Ham United wouldn’t have loved the riches of the previous few years beneath David Moyes‘ tutelage had Declan Rice not emerged from the academy?

Certain, Moyes would have been re-appointed again in December 2019. And sure, progress would have been made transfer-wise, stabilising an outfit geared up for achievement however failing to make all of it work, like making an attempt to put varied puzzle items into the best positions to kind a accomplished image.

However Rice closed the door on his Irons journey with successive Participant of the Season awards in his locker. Oh sure, and the Participant of the Season award within the Europa Convention League, having performed a talismanic half in securing silverware for his London outfit.

His departure stung, not least as a result of he determined to affix cross-city rivals in Arsenal, but it surely’s laborious to bewail too loudly, Rice catalysed a midfield and lifted it to glory.

Why West Ham hit the jackpot with Declan Rice

Even essentially the most sanguine West Ham supporters would have resigned themselves to Rice’s sale following the completion of the 2022/23 marketing campaign.

Declan Rice for Arsenal.

Little question the Hammers bosses canvassed presents of extension on the London Stadium however Rice felt his ability set worthy of a spot on the forefront of the European recreation and thus Arsenal succeeded with a £105m transfer, making him (briefly) the most costly footballer in British historical past.

Such an astronomical recoup makes it laborious to argue West Ham did not succeed with Rice, however his exploits as a United participant would have cemented him within the membership’s corridor of contemporary greats had he left for a pittance, with Jack Wilshere gushing again in 2021 that “bodily he is a freak, and technically he can do something that he desires.”

He amassed 245 appearances for West Ham after graduating from the academy and have become synonymous with the aspect’s resurgence beneath Moyes, fuelling the workforce from the nucleus of the pitch and dazzling along with his high-energy, all-embracing midfield method.

He is the creme-de-la-creme, however West Ham thought that they had a good larger expertise on their palms within the early days of Rice’s profession.

They thought so, however Reece Oxford proved to fall by the wayside on English shores.

Why Reece Oxford failed at West Ham

Oxford was one of many hottest prospects round after making his Premier League debut as a 16-year-old within the 2015/16 Premier League opener in opposition to Arsenal, with West Ham securing a shocking victory on the Emirates Stadium.

West Ham Beginning XI for Reece Oxford’s Debut

Arsenal 0-2 West Ham (08/09/2015)

GK – Adrian

RB – James Tomkins

CB – Winston Reid

CB – Angelo Ogbonna

LB – Aaron Cresswell

DM – Reece Oxford

CM – Mark Noble

CM – Cheikou Kouyate

AM – Dimitri Payet

CF – Mauro Zarate

CF – Diafra Sakho

Sourced through Transfermarkt

Talking of his efficiency after the match, Irons gaffer Slaven Bilic was bewildered by his younger expertise, remarking: “The boy has obtained all the pieces. All the things. Let’s be truthful. Ozil, Cazorla, and Ramsey are world-class gamers. It’s not simple to attenuate their recreation. He’s undoubtedly going to make it if he progresses and retains his toes on the bottom.”

Oxford made six additional Premier League appearances that 12 months however has featured solely as soon as within the English top-flight since, finishing a sequence of detached mortgage spells with Studying and Borussia Monchengladbach earlier than attracting Augsburg’s consideration, embarking on a short lived transfer in 2018/19 earlier than finishing a everlasting switch with the German Bundesliga aspect for round £3m.

Reece Oxford on his West Ham debut

The previous England U20 worldwide has now amassed 80 appearances for the Fuggerstädter, which evens out at 13.3 options per marketing campaign.

Reece Oxford’s market worth in 2024

Sadly, accidents and setbacks referring to lengthy Covid have hindered a once-promising profession, and whereas Oxford has loved comparative success in Germany, notably beginning 30 Bundesliga matches in 2021/22 as his outfit swerved the clamp of the drop zone, he is performed simply 3 times for the reason that begin of final season.

As such, the 25-year-old is presently valued at simply £2m – in keeping with Soccer Transfers’ participant valuation mannequin, really marking him with a price ticket beneath Ben Johnson, who’s valued at £4m.

West Ham's Ben Johnson 

Johnson performs his half in West Ham’s system however he is most likely certainly one of Moyes’ extra expendable cogs, with the 24-year-old full-back beginning simply 4 Premier League video games all season.

Whereas Oxford’s market worth by no means shot up exponentially, he was anticipated to go to huge issues, having as soon as really been thought of a much bigger expertise than Rice.

Certainly, in keeping with a pensive Bilic, the chatter surrounding Oxford after his debut propelled him right into a place not simply as West Ham’s brightest prospect however as one of many Premier League’s most fun prodigies lately. He had all of it, the world at his toes.

“What helped him was that he was a bit beneath the radar,” Bilic mentioned. “A few years earlier than, once I’d come to West Ham, I couldn’t transfer across the place with out listening to that Reece Oxford was going to be the subsequent huge factor.

“Reece made his debut at 16 and we beat Arsenal 2-0, you’ll be able to think about the hype. He had an entourage, he obtained accidents, perhaps misplaced a little bit of confidence and focus.

“Dec’s was a unique story. He was in a position to are available in with out the identical expectations. I bear in mind being in Germany on pre-season and strolling around the resort and seeing him along with his mum and pop. They’d come over to see him, I had a chat they usually didn’t appear the kind to need plenty of fuss. Issues like that don’t do any hurt to a younger participant.”

Declan Rice in action for West Ham.

It is clear that in these early days, there was such a weight of expectation surrounding Oxford that Rice loved the smoother highway, plying his commerce astutely and dealing his approach towards the fore.

Whereas West Ham’s £3m sale appears to be like to have been an honest deal in hindsight, all of it might have been so completely different, with unthinkable success absolutely on the playing cards had Oxford linked with prodigious accomplice Rice in east London.

A minimum of the membership loved the riches of certainly one of these gamers, however for Oxford, the giddy heights envisaged approach again when have petered out.