Reece Oxford returned to action in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Gillingham today in a match organised to test right back Ryan Fredericks fitness after injury.
However, the former Fulham defender didn’t appear until the 17th minute and left the action before the end of the 90 sparking suggestions that Pablo Zabaleta is set to start against AFC Wimbledon at the weekend with Fredericks is expected to make the bench.
Perhaps more intriguing is whether – with the club and player keen for Oxford to move on – he has an outside chance of showing himself off to potential buyers after returning from a thigh injury.
He and fellow central defender Josh Pask performed particularly well against Gillingham today in what turned out to be a 2-1 win at the Priestfield Stadium with Nathan Holland also staking a claim for Saturday inclusion with a goal.
However, it seems unlikely Manuel Pellegrini could be involve Oxford, and should he decide either of Diop or Ogbonna are in need of a rest, than a return to central defence for Declan Rice would likely be on the cards.