When Liverpool were first linked with a move for Jarrod Bowen last summer, the general reaction involved the raising of an eyebrow. Why would Jurgen Klopp be interested in signing a wide player who, at 24, has only one full Premier League season under his belt?
Yesterday showed why. Bowen has reached another level this season and the expectation is that he will continue along a sharp development curve. The way he drove forward before setting up Pablo Fornals to make it 2-1, with four visitors chasing after him, summed up both his confidence and ability.
Bowen epitomises the position David Moyes’ team find themselves in. He is playing above and beyond external expectations, a key cog in a machine that is working to perfection.
Yesterday he did not get on the ball much, inevitable when West Ham had 30% of possession, but still provided a pair of assists. It was efficient, maximising both the team’s strengths and opportunities. Only six players have created more opportunities than Bowen’s 39 so far this season and he ranks 16th on the expected goal table.
He clearly possesses a skillset that fits the Klopp mould. His work off the ball, chasing down opponents and tracking back dilligently, stand out and it was telling that Andrew Roberston had little influence at London Stadium.
Bowen is also very settled in East London, with a contract that runs to 2025. In the summer indications were that a bid of about £40m would tempt West Ham to consider selling a player they acquired from Hull City in January 2020. for £18m. That evaluation will have risen significantly in the past three months.
For Moyes the next step is clear. Speaking before yesterday’s win he said that Bowen is already at a “top club” but delivering his top level consistently should be the ambition for him and fellow winger Said Benrahma.
“You’ve got remember that both of them have come out of the Championship and I think it’s a really good grounding for them,” he said. “They know the game, they’re hungry to succeed and both of them are desperate to do better.
“We can hardly get them off the training ground, they’re desperate to improve their finishing and the two of them are great team players as well and improving all of the time.
“Are they at the level of the ‘Fab Four’ from Liverpool? Not yet but they’ve got to keep pushing hard to try and get to the standards that the Liverpool players are setting.”
On current form, with West Ham three points off the top entering the third international break of the campaign, the gap does not appear that big. How long can they sustain it? We’re about to find out.
Source by Football London