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Smith-Rowe, Oxford Become Latest UK Prospects To Make German Move

English Under-17 world champion Emile Smith-Rowe and West Ham defender Reece Oxford on Thursday joined the trend of UK youngsters heading for the Bundesliga as the pair signed loan deals with separate German clubs.

Arsenal midfielder Smith-Rowe, 18, completed a medical and signed for RB Leipzig until the end of the season, just before the transfer window closed at 17:00 on Thursday.

The midfielder has some first-team experience with the Gunners this season having played in four Europa League matches, scoring in both the 3-0 wins at Azerbaijan side Qarabag and Ukrainians Vorskla Poltava.

Smith-Rowe arrives with a ringing endorsement from Freddie Ljungberg, his coach in Arsenal’s Under-23 team, who described the winger as “humble” and a “role model” after helping England juniors win the Under-17 world title in 2017.

Meanwhile, down in Bavaria, Oxford, a 20-year-old centre-back, signed for struggling Augsburg until June, having spent last season at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

“With Reece Oxford we have secured the services of a very good centre-back for Augsburg,” said team manager Stefan Reuter, who signed ex-Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann as assistant coach this week.

“He already knows the Bundesliga from his time at Borussia Moenchengladbach and will certainly not have any major adjustment difficulties, so he can help us quickly.”

Oxford arrived in Germany looking for game time having yet to play a single minute this season under Hammers manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Both Oxford and Smith-Rowe are the latest young British talent heading to Germany in the hope of gaining match experience after so far being given limited opportunities at Premier League clubs.

Smith-Rowe becomes the fourth British teenager currently at a Bundesliga club after Schalke 04 reportedly paid Manchester City nine million euros  for Welsh winger Rabbi Matondo, 18, on Wednesday.

Alongside Smith-Rowe and Matondo, Jadon Sancho, 18, has been impressing for league leaders Borussia Dortmund since signing from Manchester City in August 2017, while England Under-21 midfielder Reiss Nelson, 19, is also on loan from Arsenal at Hoffenheim.


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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here