On January 31st, West Ham United announced that they had signed Jarrod Bowen from Hull City for a reported £20 million-plus transfer fee. The winger was wanted by Newcastle earlier in the window before the Hammers beat off competition from Crystal Palace in the latter stages of January to secure the 23-year-old’s signature.
As a result, we’re going to look at why, given the situation that West Ham currently find themselves in, Bowen needs to provide an instant spark at the London Stadium.
An Eye for a Goal
At the time of writing, the Hammers currently sit 18th in the Premier League and face challenging away fixtures against the reigning champions, Manchester City, and the runaway leaders, Liverpool, in their next two outings. It’s no secret that the Hammers are in a relegation battle due to their inability to score goals consistently, with their record signing, Sebastien Haller, who joined for £45 million from Frankfurt in the summer of 2019, scoring only six goals thus far in the campaign.
Crucially, this is where Bowen can help to make the difference. In his 29 games for Hull in this year’s Championship season, the 23-year-old has scored 16 goals and assisted a further six in 29 games. Due to his goal-scoring abilities, Hull are now in a position where they have an outside chance of securing a top-six finish, with Championship betting placing the Tigers at 35/1 as of February 3rd to make the play-offs come the end of the season. Furthermore, during the 2018-19 campaign, the former Hull winger found the net on 22 occasions, which highlights his consistency in front of goal.
The Hammers Need a Spark Regarding goal involvement in the Premier League, Robert Snodgrass is currently West Ham’s most influential player. In addition to scoring five goals, the Scotsman has also created a further four in his 20 appearances. Although David Moyes’ side are only one point away from 17th-placed Aston Villa, they haven’t won any of their previous five games in England’s top-flight. Many Hammers fans will be hoping that Bowen can have a similar impact to Villa’s talisman, Jack Grealish, who is, in the eyes of many football fans, singlehandedly leading their charge against relegation.
Along with adding regular goals from wide areas, the capture of Bowen could help to get the best out of Haller who has struggled for consistency in his first season in England. Over the last two seasons in the Championship combined, the 23-year-old has recorded ten assists while predominantly playing as a right winger.
Additionally, the English-born attacker has developed his versatility, making him an even more intriguing option for West Ham. Before his move to the London Stadium on Deadline Day, Bowen started eight of his 29 matches this season in a central position. In that time, he was directly involved in nine goals, highlighting his ability to make things happen when he picks up the ball centrally, as opposed to down the right flank.
West Ham Fans Need and Deserve Performances
Having struggled under Manuel Pellegrini, the Hammers faithful will be hoping that David Moyes and the current crop of players will be able to perform to a high enough level to keep them in the Premier League for at least another season. While Bowen is unproven at this level, there’s no doubting his impact in front of goal and, if he can hit the ground running, then West Ham should be able to steer clear of the drop.