Kevin Phillips has insisted Jarrod Bowen must go straight into the West Ham starting XI for tomorrow’s clash against Manchester City.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England and Premier League striker is convinced the 23-year-old wide forward can make himself a club “hero” straight away at the Etihad Stadium.
West Ham announced Bowen as their third January signing late on transfer deadline day at the end of last week.
He has joined from Hull City in a deal worth a potential £22million including add-ons.
Asked by Football Insider if Bowen, who was not registered in time to face Brighton last Saturday, should slot into the team at the first opportunity against the champions, Phillips was unrepentant.
“He will have to,” the ex-pro said. “Why would you spend that sort of money on a highly rated young player and not put him in when you are struggling at the bottom of the Premier League.
“It will be tough if he does come into the side in the next two games – Man City and Liverpool.
“But this is why he will want to play in the Premier League. He can make himself a West Ham hero straight away.
“I would be very surprised if David did not involve him in the next two games, if not start him because what has he got to lose?
“I hope he does well but again, it would be a baptism of fire for him. Big task for him.”
Bowen has never played in the Premier League before but has extensive experience in the Championship, where he had developed into one of its outstanding players.
He rose through the ranks at Hull to make 131 appearances, scoring an impressive 54 goals as well as supplying 14 assists.
In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that the club are planning to sell £18m man at a big loss this summer.