Darren Bent has suggested an attitude problem was behind Reece Oxford’s departure from West Ham this summer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Tottenham and England striker revealed he was shocked at how far the young enforcer had fallen after emerging as one of the brightest young talents in England.
The 20-year-old, who broke onto the scene as a teenager and was tipped for a big future by many, was confirmed to have secured a permanent move to FC Augsburg in Germany, having been shipped out on loan to the Bundesliga outfit in the past.
Bent says that he can hardly believe the youngster’s career turn over the last couple of years and laid the blame at the door of the player rather than the club.
Bent told Football Insider: “Everyone, a few years back, was raving about him and saying he was going to go to United, Spain, all these clubs wanted him and all of a sudden the want for him died off.
“Maybe that’s down to him, in himself, his attitude. In two years’ time, for you to have the world as your oyster with a choice of where you wanted to go to no one wanting you, it’s really, really surprising. I can’t understand it.
“You can never really criticise West Ham’s development of players, they’ve got a good tradition over the years.”
Oxford, who can play at both centre-back and as a defensive midfielder, made 17 appearances for the Irons after making his debut as a 16-year-old under former boss Slaven Bilic.
He had spent time on loan at Reading and Borussia Monchengladbach before heading to Augsburg temporarily in January, feating nine times for the German side.