Reece Oxford joins Premier League's youngest English debutants

After 16-year-old Reece Oxford made a commanding debut for West Ham, we look at some of the other players who started young in the Premier League and assess how their careers progressed from there ...

10. Jose Baxter: made his senior club debut aged 16 years and 191 days

Perhaps it was partly because Wayne Rooney had come through the same ranks and left a few years earlier, but there were high hopes for Jose Baxter after he made his debut on the opening day of the 2008-09 season. Baxter ended up being Everton's youngest debutant, but despite obvious talent, he could not establish himself in the first team at Goodison Park and eventually left for Oldham before moving on to Sheffield United.

Last May, Baxter failed a drug test (he maintains his drink was spiked on a night out) but the majority of his subsequent five-month ban was suspended, so he was free to start the Blades' season on Saturday. They lost 4-0 to Gillingham, but you can't have everything.

9. James Vaughan: 16 years and 271 days

The man whose Everton record Baxter broke was James Vaughan, the striker who burst into the Toffees first team in 2005. That day, he didn't only become the club's youngest ever player but the Premier League's youngest scorer, too, netting on his debut against Crystal Palace. "It was a fantastic day for him," said then-Everton assistant Alan Irvine. "People will make comparisons with Wayne Rooney but they are different players. It was terrific for him just to get on so to score made it a dream debut."

After that (and alas, in the intervening decade) injuries have proved a problem, with Vaughan unable to stay fit for long enough to properly establish himself at any of his clubs. Currently with Huddersfield, he's one of the better strikers in the Championship when healthy, but sadly that's all too rare.

8. Aaron Lennon: 16 years and 129 days

To give you an idea of the chaotic and cash-strapped state of affairs at Elland Road back in 2005: when Aaron Lennon left Leeds (who were in the Championship) to join Tottenham in the top flight, he actually took a pay cut. In the intervening years he has looked like he's been on the cusp of a significant breakthrough at White Hart Lane, occasionally excellent but more often than not slightly flattering to deceive for club as well as country. A loan to Everton last season briefly appeared to revive him, but he's now back at Spurs and down the pecking order. You would hope that someone will pick him up and inject some life back into a career that still has something to offer.

7. Micah Richards: 17 years and 120 days

That theory is often applied to Micah Richards, too. When he first broke into the Manchester City side it looked like both club's and country's defensive problems would be solved for the following decade or more. He was occasionally excellent but error-prone enough to make those predictions look premature. A few very badly timed injuries -- including one that saw him lose his place to Pablo Zabaleta in the title-winning 2011-12 season and never really win it back -- have hampered his career as well. A loan at Fiorentina didn't quite provide the boost he was hoping for, but perhaps his move to Aston Villa, where he's been appointed captain, will do the trick.

6. Raheem Sterling: 17 years and 107 days

Hyped from the age of 15, when Liverpool plucked him from QPR's youth setup, Sterling made his full debut a couple of years later and after some initially fairly erratic performances, established himself in the team during that chaotic, thrilling but ultimately doomed tumble toward the league title in 2014.

When Luis Suarez departed, Sterling became Liverpool's key attacking threat before he was 20, something that should be considered by those keen to write him off as overrated since his move to Manchester City. Playing with better players and with less individual pressure on him to create, we should see exactly what sort of player he is this season.

5. Jack Wilshere: 16 years and 256 days

Will we ever see the best of Jack Wilshere? Have we already seen the best of Jack Wilshere? English football has a long history of incredibly skillful players falling by the wayside for assorted reasons. Often it's because the English game didn't seem quite clear about what to do with them, but if Wilshere doesn't reach his full potential, it will be because of injuries. The plural is important there; it isn't one single injury that has hampered his progress but a number over a long period of time.

Arsene Wenger professed his surprise at the latest ailment, a cracked bone in Wilshere's ankle, although you wonder why he was quite so taken aback given that Wilshere has managed only 155 appearances since making his debut way back in 2008. Hopefully he will establish some sort of sustainable fitness, and indeed find a position in which he is most comfortable.

4. Theo Walcott: 16 years and 143 days

Like Wilshere's, Walcott's career has been one pockmarked by ailments and a sense that neither he nor his manager is really sure of his best position. He clearly wants to be a centre-forward and perhaps Wenger wants him to be as well, but the Arsenal boss doesn't seem entirely convinced. Regardless, he's still an excellent player, and still young too, having broken into the Southampton system aged just 15, then bought by Arsenal and taken to the World Cup inside a year. A decade on and he's still not really established at the Emirates, lacking a defined role. But at just 26, there is plenty of time yet.

3. James Milner: 16 years and 309 days

For much of his career, James Milner has been dismissed as a mere workhorse, a grafter with little skill or imagination, but gradually, most have come around to the fact that he can actually play. It was relatively clear from his first game that he had plenty of talent, blooded by Leeds United just as they were plunged into financial crisis in 2002, but that talent only really started to become undeniable when he moved to Aston Villa, shifting into his best position in central midfield. One hopes that is where he will stay for the rest of his career with Liverpool.

2. Michael Owen: 17 years and 143 days

Reece Oxford probably doesn't remember watching Michael Owen slalom through the Argentina defence at the 1998 World Cup, largely because he hadn't been born yet. It is easy to forget after the latter parts of his career, and his now less-than-sparkling career behind the microphone, what an absolutely thrilling player Owen was, and how disappointing it was that he never really lived up to those early, exhilarating days. Still, he played for Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool (and Stoke), won a few trophies and scored goals for England. Not exactly a career wasted.

1. Wayne Rooney: 16 years and 293 days

People often think of Sven Goran Eriksson as a conservative coach and the man who took Darius Vassell around with him on the basis that he could "do a solid job," but one wonders how many managers would've given Wayne Rooney, aged just 17 years and 111 days, his international debut. Rooney had been ripping up the Premier League at the time, after making his Everton debut at just 16, so he perhaps made an unanswerable case, but it was still a reasonably bold move.

It is easy to think that Rooney hasn't quite become the player most thought he would be, but he has basically won everything there is to win at club level and will probably become his country's top international goal scorer at some point this year. He'll probably be quite happy with all that.