Promising news for West Ham fans despite a week of transfer speculation seeing possible unfortunate exits for the club. Both Sam Byram and Reece Oxford look set to receive significant playing time for the rest of January in their returns from injury.
Byram and Oxford were solid and fit for the Hammers Premier League 2 side on Monday evening, as they defeated Norwich City’s PL2 outfit by the score of 2-1.
Oxford, the central midfield prodigy, captained the Under 23 side to victory, and expressed after the match how delighted he is to almost be all the way back from suffering an ankle injury in an October practice.
“I’ve been out for about two and a bit months now but it’s very nice to get back with the U23s and get a win,” Oxford said. “I felt good tonight. I thought I would feel quite leggy but I was quite surprised how good I felt so hopefully I can push on from here.”
Byram meanwhile went 57 minutes before being subbed out, and could likely see the right back make his return to the senior squad on Saturday against Crystal Palace.
Also impressing again for the U23 Hammers were young teens Marcus Browne and Toni Martinez, as the pairing added to their burgeoning chemistry for the side’s second goal. The talented Spaniard was able to motor past his defenders on the counter before sliding in a good pass that Browne finished for what proved to be the winning strike. Ashley Fletcher scored the opener, as the 21-year-old striker gets valuable minutes to keep his fitness up, just in case he plays more for manager Slaven Bilic.
Both Browne and Martinez are providing more evidence for Bilic to give them more considerations in the regular matchday 18, especially if the likes of Simone Zaza, Sofiane Feghouli and, gasp, Dimitri Payet decide to leave the club this month.