West Ham fans will be concerned by reports emerging over the weekend about one of their most promising young stars.
Hammers fans were desperately disappointed when talented young defender Reece Oxford failed to fulfil his potential.
After bursting onto the scene as a 16-year-old under Slaven Bilic, Oxford was given big billing.
Oxford put in a man of the match performance in a 2-0 win away at Arsenal on his debut.
The rise and fall of Oxford
But it turned out to the be highlight of his career so far.
He was barely used by Bilic, David Moyes and then Manuel Pellegrini.
There were question marks from some West Ham fans over Oxford’s attitude and application. Others just felt he had been over-hyped off the back of one good performance.
Oxford was given a bumper long-term contract by West Ham to fend off interest from some top clubs.
But he failed to establish himself in the first team squad and was sold to German outfit Augsburg for a knockdown fee in the summer (Sky Sports).
The demands of Oxford’s representatives achieved infamy.
Westley: ‘West Ham must learn from Oxford Education’
And now according to ex West Ham academy chief Terry Westley, the representatives of highly-rated young midfielder Conor Coventry could be about to make the same mistake.
Coventry’s representatives Base Soccer Agency are said to be demanding too much for a player with no Premier League experience (Claret & Hugh).
And now former academy boss Westley has spoken out on the matter saying the club must avoid another Oxford saga.
“Fixing deals for young players is a sensitive business but clubs should never overpay whatever the pressures,” Westley told Claret and Hugh.
“I can’t go into details on figures but there is a set structure in place at the club which was once famously broken big time in the case of Reece Oxford. Neither that or anything like it should happen again and any attempt to push the club over the line must be firmly resisted. Word gets around among players and that can lead to a whole load of trouble with the pay policy going up in smoke.
Coventry must not spoil big Hammers chance
“There are no doubt talks with players going on right now as there always is. But the parameters are in place and I’m certain the club will make sure nobody pushes them around.”
Coventry must be careful not to waste a golden opportunity at West Ham.
He is perfectly placed to replace ageing flop Carlos Sanchez as Declan Rice’s understudy.
But his representatives could end up having an adverse impact on his young career instead.
The 19-year-old must get his head down, break into the first team squad and EARN a big contract.