Reece Oxford has returned to West Ham, all the better for an eye-opening loan stint in the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The 19-year-old English defender turned out three times in the German top flight, but how does he stack up compared to some of his Bundesliga predecessors from good old Blighty? takes a closer look...

1) Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich, 2000-07)

The most decorated Brit in Bundesliga terms, Owen Hargreaves joined Bayern's youth setup at the tender age of 16. The Calgary-born midfielder won a Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League double in his debut season with the first team in 2000/01, and became a regular fixture in the side for years to come.

Hargreaves lifted a further three Bundesliga titles and a trio of DFB Cups in his time in Germany, during which he totalled 145 Bundesliga appearances. He was named England Player of the Year in 2006, but never fully recovered from a leg break suffered that same year. After stop-start spells with Manchester United and Man City, chronic injury forced him to retire in 2012.

Owen Hargreaves won four Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich. © gettyimages

2) Kevin Keegan (Hamburg, 1977-80)

A pin-up in his homeland long before Hargreaves made the transatlantic switch, Kevin Keegan joined Hamburg in 1977, fresh from winning the European Cup with Liverpool. His career in Germany got off to a rocky start, but he came into his own during the second half of 1977/78, finishing his debut campaign in a HSV shirt with 12 goals.

Affectionately nicknamed 'Mighty Mouse' by the Hamburg faithful, King Kev picked up back-to-back Ballon d'Or awards in 1978 and 1979, and was instrumental as HSV won the Bundesliga title for the first time in 19 years in 1978/79. He signed off with runners-up medals in the Bundesliga and European Cup 12 months later, before returning to England with Southampton.

Kevin Keegan played in one of the most successful Hamburg teams of all time. © gettyimages

3) Paul Lambert (Borussia Dortmund, 1996-97)

Likewise earning cult status on German soil, Paul Lambert enjoyed a memorable single-season stint at Borussia Dortmund. Tasked with man-marking Zinedine Zidane in the 1997 Champions League final against Juventus, the no-frills midfielder passed the test with flying colours to become the first Scottish player to win the European Cup with a non-UK team, and the first British player to win the competition since its rebranding as the Champions League.

"I had a feeling we were going to win it," Lambert, now a fully fledged coach, recalled. "Any team who beat Dortmund in that era had to be really good. It was a completely different mentality. They treated football as a job not a hobby. Dortmund more or less changed my life. It was an amazing experience."

Paul Lambert had Zinedine Zidane's number in the 1997 Champions League final. © imago

4) Tony Woodcock (Cologne, 1979-82 and 86-88)

Sentiments echoed by Tony Woodcock. The 42-time England international remains one of the select few Englishmen to have forged a successful career in the Bundesliga, netting 39 goals in 131 appearances over the course of two spells with Cologne. He had just won the European Cup with Nottingham Forest in 1979 when he made the switch and, apparently, could have gone anywhere in Europe. So why Cologne?

"It's a beautiful city, a good football club with a good identity with the city," recalled Woodcock, who even dropped down to the second tier in 1988 to play for Fortuna Cologne to avoid uprooting his family. "Usually if you're from Cologne, you support Cologne. Germany had the strongest league in Europe and had some of the best players. The Bundesliga was the place to be."

Tony Woodwock loved his time in Cologne so much, he did not want to leave. © imago

5) Oliver Burke (RB Leipzig, 2016-17)

Was and still is - just ask Oliver Burke. Like Woodcock, the 20-year-old Scotland international traded Notts Forest for the Bundesliga, surprising many by joining ambitious top-flight newcomers RB Leipzig in summer 2016. The Kirkaldy native made 25 Bundesliga appearances in 2016/17, helping the Easterners qualify for the Champions League thanks to a surprise second-placed finish, before returning to England with West Brom.

“It's amazing to be here," Scotland's most expensive footballer of all time told BBC Sport. "To play in the Bundesliga, to think about Bayern and big teams like that. As soon as I stepped through the doors, I knew I could only get better here. The set-up is the best I've ever seen."

Watch: Oliver Burke's game-changing Bundesliga debut

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