Teenage star Oxford commits to West Ham

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Reece Oxford says he's happy to have signed a new deal with West Ham United despite some serious interest from Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal.

The 18-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur youth player, who made his Hammers' debut as a 16-year-old in the Europa League qualifier with FC Lusitanos, has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract.

West Ham's youngest-ever player, and the second youngest-ever player to have played in the Premier League, Oxford is a highly-rated defender, who can also operate in a defensive midfielde role.

Speaking to the club's website after signing his new deal, Oxford revealed that he would like to follow in the footsteps of Joe Cole and Rio Ferdinand, who both made their names in east London.

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.

"Hopefully, I can become just as big as them or even bigger. Hopefully, I can step out and follow what they have achieved."

He added: "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.

"I look up to someone like Mark Noble and he has been fantastic towards me. Every day in training he will be getting into me and telling me the right information.

"He wants to make sure that my head is in the game and I am training well. He also wants to ensure I am doing everything right off the pitch and he is a big influence."

Hammers boss Slavan Bilic was naturally elated to have tied Oxford to a new deal at the club.

He said: "I am delighted and it is major news for both the Club and the player that he has committed his long-term future to West Ham United.

"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."