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16-year-old Oxford receives glowing appraisal from West Ham boss Bilic

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has heaped praise on youngster Reece Oxford following his very first Premier League outing.

The 16-year-old became the seventh youngest player to play in England's top flight when admirably performing a midfield role in his side's shock 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Oxford was instrumental in keeping a dangerous Gunners midfield under control and his debut performance was certainly not lost on a very proud Bilic.

"He has a presence, he's mobile and quick, and he can turn and pass the ball, not just square balls," said Bilic who was in his first game as a Premier League boss.

"He's not fazed about playing at the Emirates. I tried to help, I told him whatever he did wrong was my fault not his, but I'm lucky he didn't do much wrong.

"He's definitely going to be a big player. Let's be fair, (Mesut) Ozil had his moments but it's not easy to minimalise the game of these world-class players.

"He didn't know until yesterday that he was going to play. We talked the night before but it wasn't like, 'let's sit in a dark room, I have to tell you something Reece, you're going to play'. It was more like chatting.

"That would make pressure. This was natural for him. For today, it was a good decision. He's definitely going to do it [succeed], there's no doubt."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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