It would be very easy for Liverpool fans to dismiss speculation linking their club with a move for West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen.
The Reds have been linked with some top-class wide forwards in recent times, with Kylian Mbappe and Jadon Sancho both taking turns to become the protagonists in Liverpool fans’ desperate cries for a statement signing this summer.
Given the completely unrealistic rumours crediting the Reds with a move for Mbappe and Sancho, Jurgen Klopp’s pursuit of a player who less than 18 months ago was plying his trade in the Championship could be viewed as slightly underwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be.
Let’s not forget, Bowen’s former club Hull City has developed an uncanny knack for picking up quality players on the cheap before selling them on, with Manchester United’s Harry Maguire and Liverpool’s own Andy Robertson both spending time at the MKM Stadium.
It’s also worth mentioning that Bowen’s time at Hull saw him regularly rip Championship defences apart in the three seasons he was a fixture in the first team, with the winger notching a very impressive 52 goals in 117 second-tier appearances.
The need for attacking reinforcements at Anfield this summer is clear, with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino’s poor form for the majority of the 2020/21 campaign almost costing them their lucrative spot in the Champions League – say what you like about their injury-plagued defence, it was their frontline that almost cost them.
Bowen has proven in his short time at West Ham that he’s got the eye for goal to score at the top level, skirting under the radar a little last season with eight league goals in 30 starts.
The Hammers forward represents exactly the type of profile Liverpool look for when signing a player; he’s young, has plenty of room for development and could be sold on at a profit in years to come if needed, and the success of Diogo Jota since moving to Anfield – a player with a similar goals-to-game ratio as Bowen – should tell you he deserves a chance.
The former Hull man would represent solid back-up for the Reds’ frontline next season and, given time to settle at a club of Liverpool’s stature, he could be ready to step into the shoes of the club’s star forwards when they’re eventually moved on.
While it’s all well and good looking at a player’s goalscoring record and instantly proclaiming ‘yep, he’ll score goals for us’, we of course know football is far more complex than that.
There would of course be question marks over Bowen’s ability to deal with the added pressure that comes with pulling on a Liverpool shirt, but the West Ham man has yet to disappoint in any of the huge leaps he’s taken since graduating from former National League outfit Hereford United’s academy.
Not only that, his style of play is perfect for a team managed by Klopp. The 24-year-old was one of West Ham’s key men last season as David Moyes looked to impress a fast-paced, high-pressing system on his side – something Klopp is renowned for.
Bowen isn’t the type of winger who’ll look to stay out wide all game and stretch the pitch, instead he’ll make darting runs into the box whenever his side are in possession on the opposite side of the pitch – an instinct that will be key if he’s to make an impression on Liverpool’s frontline.
We’re not going to sit here and try and tell you that Bowen is a better player than Mohamed Salah – because evidently that’s not true – but the Reds desperately need to strengthen their attacking arsenal this summer and he’d be a great addition to the squad.
With West Ham having paid as much as £25m for his services he’s not going to come cheap, but Liverpool have developed a habit of buying players whose value doubles in just a few seasons at Anfield, and Bowen could well be their recruitment team’s next big success.