He is the youngster everyone is talking about, but who is Reece Oxford?

At 16 years and 198 days, Oxford will become the youngest ever player to turn out for West Ham should he play against FC Lusitans on Thursday, July 2.

Also online: West Ham beat FC Lusitans 3-0 in comfortable win

And, if those in the know are to be believed, the centre-back could be the next big thing to come out of the club.

“We will find out whether he can handle the pressure of the big situation,” academy manager Terry Westley told Sky Sports News.

“We won’t know that with him on the bench or in the stand. He has an opportunity and the talking has to stop.”

“If he is going to be one of the best we have produced, he has to be some player, with James Tomkins here and then Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and the rest.

“Where he is at his age, he has done exactly what he needs to do.”

Oxford is regarded as one of the brightest young talents in the English game. A versatile ball-playing centre-back, the teenager draws inevitable comparisons with academy-graduate Rio Ferdinand – so much so that he is expected to play in central midfield this evening.

Despite his tender age, Oxford is also impressive physically, measuring 6ft 3ins.

Oxford is no stranger to the Hammers’ first-team either, appearing as an unused substitute in the Capital One Cup tie with Sheffield United last September aged just 15.

He was also on the bench for a number of Premier League games towards the back end of last season.

But it was in the Hammers’ under-21 squad where he really caught the eye, winning the club’s Academy Player of the Year award.

He also captained England’s under-17s to the quarter finals of the European Under-17 Championships in Bulgaria.

A number of clubs including Liverpool and Chelsea were said to be chasing the Londoner but, staying true to his roots, Oxford signed a new long-term contract at the club back in January.