By Anthony Onifade

18th Sep, 2023 | 5:10pm

Jarrod Bowen could face surprise West Ham United axe after shocker v Manchester City, Mohammed Kudus opportunity lies in wait

West Ham United suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season in a 3-1 loss to Manchester City and Moyes could face a crucial decision on his star man Jarrod Bowen after an ineffective display.

Summer signing James Ward-Prowse’s diving header gave the Hammers the lead against the run of play after the visitors dominated much of the proceedings.

But second-half goals from Jeremy Doku, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland helped Manchester City come from behind to beat the in-from Hammers at the London Stadium on Saturday (17 September).

The result means West Ham dropped to sixth in the table with ten points from their first five games and while Moyes will have been encouraged by the performance of the likes of Alphonse Areola, Nayef Aguerd and James Ward-Prowse, his star man Bowen was nowhere to be seen in the match.

The England international has been superb so far for the Hammers this season, registering three goals and an assist from five games, carrying on from where left off last season after his Europa Conference League final heroics, showing why the East Londoners will be looking to expedite any potential contract talks.

The Daily Mail reported (8 June) that West Ham were considering a bumper contract for Bowen, doubling his wage to £120,000 per week. However, nothing has materialised since.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

With Liverpool reportedly interested in his services, seeing him as a long-term replacement for Mohamed Salah, there are lingering doubts over the 26-year-old’s future with the Irons with just two years remaining on his contract in East London.

The Hammers will be well inclined to enter into negotiations again considering Bowen’s undisputed position in Moyes’ squad but after the summer acquisition of Mohammed Kudus, West Ham certainly have a great fall-back option.

And for now, Kudus remains a perfect candidate to potentially usurp Bowen in the starting line-up at the London Stadium, especially after his performance on Saturday.

In his 90 minutes on the pitch, Bowen managed just 34 touches of the ball, won just three of his nine total duels at a rate of 33%, successfully completed just one of his three crosses, lost possession of the ball nine times and didn’t muster up any key passes [SofaScore] to help his team back into the game when they needed it most.

It’s now almost impossible for West Ham United fans to think Bowen will have another shocker in their next fixture, but it has happened before but Moyes didn’t have the bravery or the options in the squad to replace him when his drop in performance levels occurred.

Now the former Everton and Manchester United manager possesses that luxury with Kudus still waiting for his first start as a West Ham United player and while a potential Bowen axe may well be a surprise should it occur, the Hammers fans should know they’re in very safe hands with Kudus.

The Hammers are next in action in the Europa League against Serbian outfit FK TSC Bačka Topola and it may not be a surprise to see Bowen axed for that game.

In other West Ham news, the East Londoners may well have found their next Declan Rice in one burgeoning Belgian talent, an ambitious bid could be on the cards in January.