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Reece is a Royal!

31 January 2017

18-year-old Oxford pens loan move to the Madejski from West Ham

Reading Football Club are delighted to announce the loan signing of West Ham United defender Reece Oxford, who has completed a deadline day move to the Madejski which will see him represent Jaap Stam’s Royals until the end of our 2016-17 campaign.

The highly-rated London-born centre-back first rose to prominence when he became the Hammers’ youngest ever player on debut aged 16 years and 198 days back in July 2015 and, in search of first team football away from United this year, he has been a much sought-after loan target during this January transfer window.

The Royals have swooped to tie him to a loan deal which will see him bolster the Royals squad and offer Stam more defensive options with 17 Championship battles left to fight after tonight’s trip to St Andrew’s.

Royals boss Jaap Stam said, "Reece is a very talented defender with a lot of potential. He is a modern defender and our style of play should suit him.

"Hopefully we can give him the stage to play, the time to grow in confidence and help him develop as a player during his time with us. So it's a good move for both clubs and we're very happy to have him in the squad for the rest of the season."

Having made his Hammers debut at a record-breaking age in midfield in a UEFA Europa League qualifying win over FC Lusitanos, Oxford went on to start his first Premier League game the following month - playing the first 79 minutes of a 2–0 victory against Arsenal at the Emirates!

In the process, he became the second youngest Premier League starter of all time after Everton’s Jose Baxter in 2008.

Reece went on to captain England at the 2015 UEFA European Under-17 Championship and his penalty helped the Three Lions defeat Spain in a play-off penalty shootout to qualify for the 2015 Under-17 World Cup.

During West Ham’s very impressive final season at Upton Park, Oxford helped to keep clean sheets at Anfield in August and at home to Spurs last March – and on his 18th birthday, Reece signed a four-and-a-half year contract at West Ham.

This season he has played his part in two Europa League fixtures for Slaven Bilic’s side’s but, having only turned 18 last month, Oxford will now look to get some competitive first team football under his belt as a Royal in the Championship.

Chief Executive Nigel Howe added, “Reece was a player who was wanted on loan by a number of clubs and we are absolutely delighted to have secured his services for the remainder of the season. He is young, but hungry for success and I am sure he will prove an excellent addition to our squad and learn a lot during his spell under Jaap Stam at Reading.”

Oxford becomes our fourth signing of the January transfer window, following Tiago Ilori, Adrian Popa and Jordon Mutch through the Madejski Stadium turnstiles earlier this month.

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