West Ham chief names three Academy stars ready for first team next season
By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Reece Oxford, Reece Burke and Martin Samuelsen are ready to make an impression on the West Ham senior team next season.
That is the verdict of co-owner David Gold as he assessed the club’s rebuilding plans this summer.
Gold reiterated the message coming out of West Ham that they will be active in the transfer market as they aim to give Slaven Bilic an even stronger squad next season.
Youth development will also continue to be a key element of the Hammers’ strategy and club chiefs are delighted by the progress of some of the young players.
West Ham won the Under-21s Premier League Cup in the recently completed domestic season, which was marked by excellent performances by some of their youth stars, including Oxford, 17, Burke and Samuelsen, both 19.
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Describing the elements of club’s plans on the official West Ham website, Gold explained: “The other part of this which is coming together is the group of youth players coming through the ranks – Reece Oxford and Reece Burke are two of the most-talented young defenders coming through in this country.
“Then you have Martin Samuelsen who made his full international debut this week and I hope it is only a matter of time before he emerges into the first team.
“We didn’t win the U21 Cup I was presented with on Thursday because we have poor players – it is because they are special young players and I look forward to seeing their continued development.”
Oxford captained West Ham’s Under-21s side to Premier League Cup glory this campaign and was the star of the show when the Hammers beat Arsenal on the opening day of the season, but has struggled to hold down a regular spot in the first team since then.
Burke has also made a handful of first-team appearances for West Ham, while Samuelsen has yet to make his senior bow for the club.