West Ham have confirmed Reece Oxford has signed a long-term contract extension.
Oxford, who turns 18 today, has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with the Hammers “despite strong interest from Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.”
West Ham Manager Slaven Bilic Slaven Bilic holds the youngster in high regard and was determined to keep him at the club.
“The interest from the other big clubs was real and that shows what a big talent he is,” he said.
“I really believe he has got everything. On paper he has all the abilities to become a world-class player and it is now up to him to train hard and for us to manage him well for him to fulfil it.”
Reece Oxford said: “I am happy to have signed my new contract. There was a lot of speculation about my future but I am happy that it has been done and I can get back to football. I just want to kick on now.”
“I have a good relationship with the gaffer and hopefully I can get a lot of game time here. I have seen some of the old players like Joe Cole and Rio Ferdinand and I want to follow in their footsteps.
“I want to be a part of the squad and help the Club challenge for silverware by winning the FA Cup or Europa League – winning a trophy would be great. My long-term ambitions are to be captain of West Ham United one day.”
Oxford became the youngest Premier League player in the club’s history when he started their opening game of the 2015/16 season – a 2-0 win away at Arsenal. He made six further appearances in the Premier League as West Ham ended the season in seventh place – their highest finish in the top flight since 2002.
Oxford has also been capped by England in all age groups up to the Under-20 level.