West Ham United: Jarrod Bowen may have Euro 2024 boost after Gareth Southgate's latest comments
There are few English players in football at the moment who are in better goal-scoring form than West Ham United’s Jarrod Bowen at the moment.
The Hammers winger has been excellent in the early stages of the season, scoring eight times in 12 Premier League matches, a figure that no Englishman in England’s top flight has been able to match, with Callum Wilson one strike behind.
Despite his form in front of goal, it feels unlikely that Bowen will be one of the forwards selected for next summer’s Euros, but the 26-year-old may well have seen his chances of making the squad increased after Gareth Southgate’s latest comments.
As quoted by the Evening Standard (18 November) Southgate said: “If you can only take two for each position, then adaptable players are helpful, players that can play more than one position are helpful.
“But equally, players that are physically vulnerable we’ve got to think very carefully about. I wouldn’t say all 23 [need to be totally fit], but we can take far fewer gambles than we were able to to the last two tournaments where it was 26.”
With a squad of only 23 players, the Three Lions boss will be likely to try and steal a few positions in his side, with players who are adaptable and versatile much more likely to make the trip to Germany than those who are limited to one set position.
Bowen may be a winger, but David Moyes has been incredibly keen to try and convert the former Hull City forward into a genuine number nine, often preferring him in that role ahead of the likes of Danny Ings or Michail Antonio both in the Premier League and Europe.
Many supporters will argue that Bowen is much better from the right and while that tends to be fairly true, he has shown that he can impact games from the centre-forward position and he is surprisingly effective aerially as demonstrated by his header against Nottingham Forest.
Southgate is unlikely to start the 26-year-old as his number nine and it will be a shock to see anybody other than Harry Kane leading the line next summer, but should the England skipper pick up an injury, the competition to be his deputy remains open.
Most expect it to be either Wilson or Ollie Watkins who step up in his absence, but Bowen has outscored the pair so far this season. With his added versatility of being able to provide cover out wide as well, he could well increase his chances of being selected in the 23-man squad.
But first, the West Ham man is going to have to maintain this form for the remainder of the campaign. With a smaller squad, Southgate won’t be picking people just because they had a good start to the season.