Expert in 'absolutely no doubt' about new Jarrod Bowen move after West Ham latest
Noel Whelan has backed Jarrod Bowen to move into a striker role for West Ham if Michail Antonio and Gianluca Scamacca are sidelined through injury.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, conceded the 26-year-old doesn’t have a long-term future in a “number nine role” for the Irons.
As per football.london (19 December), Antonio and Scamacca are doubts for the Boxing Day trip to Arsenal after picking up fresh injuries during the mid-season World Cup break.
Bowen is the natural choice to lead the line in their absence after he deputised for Antonio on 10 occasions last term.
The four-cap England international scored 18 goals across all competitions in the 2021-22 season – but has managed just five strikes in the new campaign.
West Ham are just one point above the Premier League drop zone ahead of a crucial clutch of games which sees them face Leeds United, Brentford, and Wolves.
Whelan told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “Bowen started slow, then he scored three on the bounce, and then he had another drop-off.
“It’s been really stop-start for him this season.
“He’s a really talented player.
“With these injuries, I’ve got absolutely no doubt that he can play in that number nine area.
“He’s proved that through the years by scoring plenty of goals in that position.
“But he’s a completely different player to Antonio and Scamacca. Bowen isn’t a bad option to have – but he’s got to get going.
“In the long-term, I can’t see him playing as a number nine. I think he’s better coming from wide areas and finishing up in the box.”