Jarrod Bowen will strike fear into the hearts of centre-backs playing as a makeshift centre-forward for West Ham, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Premier League boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested defenders would rather see Sergio Aguero leading the line than the Irons’ 24-year-old.

Bowen has played through the middle for the Hammers’ past two games after Michail Antonio was ruled out through injury.

Having scored against Arsenal playing as a winger, he also netted against Wolves after replacing Antonio from the bench.

David Moyes named Bowen as his sole centre-forward against Leicester and the former Hull man made it three goals in three.

McLeish admitted the winger’s movement caused havoc for defenders who would not be prepared for him leading the line.

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He even suggested man-of-the-moment Jesse Lingard would be raving over his teammate’s displays.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Bowen’s movement is so good. He can beat a man in the space of six inches because of the swift movement of his hips. 

“He’s just one of these guys that if you’re a full-back playing against him, you’d be really concerned. However, if he comes into the centre of the field to play against the centre-backs, they’ll be saying: ‘We’d rather play against Sergio Aguero because we’ve studied his movements’.

“They’re looking at a winger coming in having not really seen him there in West Ham colours this season. His movement is so good and he drifts into good spaces. Let’s face it, that’s what it’s all about.

West Ham

“It’s about finding the space on a football field. It’s a vast surface and Bowen when he does that gets to run at people and link with people. He’s really good on the eye as a footballer.

“Jesse and Jarrod will be admiring each other absolutely, 100 per cent.”

In other news, West Ham are in pole position to sign a striker called “world-class” by his manager.