Let’s take a look at how some of our young Academy starlets fared at some of their loan-clubs over the weekend, as Reece Burke and Josh Cullen impressed for Bolton, and Reece Oxford continued his quest for a first-team place in Germany.
Reece Burke and Josh Cullen (Bolton Wanderers)
Young duo Reece Burke and Josh Cullen continued to impress Bolton Wanderer’s boss Phil Parkinson, as The Trotters drew 1-1 with Millwall at The Den.
Cullen, who has negative memories of playing against Neil Harris’s men from his time at Bradford City and their League One Play-Off final defeat The Lions, bossed the midfield after starting. The 21-year-old also impressed in pre-season with Slaven Bilic’s first-team and this loan is expected to be his last before being given a permeant squad place at The London Stadium.
Burke also stared the fixture and put in a solid performance at centre-back for The Wanderers. The 20-year-old had dipped in and out of the first-team in recent years but spent the majority of last season on loan with relegated Wigan Athletic. However, the starlet has been tipped for big things and was named Bradford’s 2015/2016 Player of the Season during a loan spell with The Bantams.
The East London born Hammer was yet another Academy name to have spent pre-season on the first-team’s European Tour. However, despite the duo’s impressive performances in The Sky Bet Championship, they have been unable to prevent a sluggish start for The Trotters, who are yet to win a League game, but Burke was involved in their Carabao Cup victory over Crewe Alexander.
This week, Phil Parkinson’s men travel to St Andrew’s to face Birmingham City, before hosting Derby County at The Macron Stadium on Saturday. So, how will our young Hammers get on in match day three and four of The Championship season?
Reece Oxford (Borussia Monchengladbach)
18-year-old Academy product Reece Oxford is enjoying the vital experience of playing for European Giants Borussia Monchengladbach in The Bundesliga.
The starlet made Football headlines all over the world when he made his Premier League debut at the age of just 16 against Arsenal at The Emirates in summer 2015. Oxford bossed the midfield that day in a super 0-2 victory for Bilic’s boys but has understandably struggled to hold down a playing place since then.
The tall defender embarked on his first loan move to Jaap Stam’s Reading last season, as the Berkshire club were defeated by Huddersfield Town in the Play-Off Final. However, this season’s loan will present a far greater challenge for the mature youngster in one of Europe’s top-Leagues.
Gladbach are yet to start their domestic season, but were in DFB Pokal Cup action against R-W Essen on Friday night with a 1-2 victory, that Oxford did not feature in. However, he did play a major role in the club’s pre-season preparations, scoring his first goal for the two-time Europa League winners’ in a friendly against La Liga outfit Malaga in Germany.
So, with Gladbach set to kick-off their 2017/2018 season against FC Koln on Sunday at The Stadion Im Borussia-Park, will Oxford be handed an exciting Bundesliga debut?