Augsburg defender Reece Oxford says he jumped at the chance to return to the Bundesliga for his third spell in Germany after signing on loan from English Premier League side West Ham United until the end of the current campaign.
The 20-year-old previously had two spells at Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he spent the second half of both the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons.
"I like Germany and the Bundesliga a lot," he said. "I like the way that football is played here. I had experienced Augsburg before as I played here with Gladbach last season, they were a good team and I liked the stadium. I thought Augsburg was a great club to come to, and hopefully I can help them stay up and be a big player for them."
Currently 15th in the table, Augsburg have struggled to click into gear this term, winning just four league outings so far. They face a tough task of making it five on Matchday 22 when they host Bavarian neighbours Bayern Munich on Friday evening.
Nevertheless, Oxford is relishing the prospect of testing himself against Robert Lewandowski:
"He's a great player, his stats prove that he's one of the best strikers in the world. Every season he scores well over 20 goals, but hopefully we can stop him from scoring and win the game. Hopefully we can beat them and get back to winning ways. Every team hypes themselves up for Bayern against the biggest team in Germany, which we plan to do on Friday."
The England youth international was not die Fuggerstädter's only winter recruit, however, with former Germany, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann arriving as assistant to head coach Manuel Baum.
"As a child, I was a big Arsenal fan and I have very fond memories of Jens Lehmann," Oxford said. "He was a great keeper with a lot of experience and he's really a legend. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work with him, hopefully I can learn from him and he can give me a few tips to help my game. I've already done a few individual sessions with him, concentrating on body shape, one vs. one situations and speaking to your back four. I think he will be a big bonus to the club because we need to defend well."
Oxford has played twice since the turn of the year, coming on as a late substitute against Mainz on Matchday 20 before playing the full 90 minutes against Werder Bremen last week. He is eager to keep getting game time in order to improve, and ideally have a similar impact to his countrymen Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson at Dortmund and Hoffeheim respectively.
"Jadon and Reiss are playing and enjoying their football out here. So for young players, it's a great league to come to and gain experience. Hopefully, I can get some game time and continue this great experience. Reiss and Jadon are close friends of mine, we stay in contact and are happy for each other's success, pushing each other to do their best. Hopefully, we can be in the England squad together, play for the national team and be the best we can."
Lofty aims perhaps, but should his six months in Bavaria prove successful, anything is possible: "You never know what happens in the future, either I could stay here till next season or maybe sign here."