Jarrod Bowen was one of West Ham’s most important performers last season, registering eight goals and five assists to help secure West Ham’s first top-six finish since 1999.
The winger, who is also more than capable of filling in as a striker, has continued his impressive form into this season as David Moyes’ side continue where they left off in 2020/2021.
His willingness to chase down balls, ability to beat a defender and intelligent movement when going forward makes him a tricky customer for any opposing defender, which is why many have been singing his praises of late.
But while his performances have been very good so far this season, Bowen’s output in terms of goals and assists hasn’t followed suit just yet.
While Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals have dominated the goal and assist charts in east London since the start of the new season, Bowen’s work rate and high-level of performance is yet to really produce much goal contributions, but it hasn’t been for the lack of trying.
The 24-year-old picked up his first assist of the season last weekend in West Ham’s 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United, laying the ball off to Benrahma for the Algerian to smash home a hugely deflected effort from 20-yards to give the Hammers a first-half lead.
But before then, Bowen was all effort and no end product, which of course has been a small criticism aimed at him in the past. While his goal contributions last season played a vital role in West Ham’s success, the season before saw him waste numerous chances in front of goal that led to calls for him to touch up on his finishing.
The winger did just that by registering 13 goal involvements in 2020/2021, almost matching his xG over the course of the season in the process (eight goals, 7.99 xG & five assists, 5.23 xA).
This term, with just one assist to his name thus far, the numbers indicate he has reverted back to underperforming in front of goal, but do suggest it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing his usual production levels.
From five Premier League appearances this term, Bowen is currently returning an xG of 1.12 and xA of 0.80. It’s not far off where he is, but in terms of goals he’s so far fallen short of where he’s expected to be at given his performances.
It is also something of a surprise that he hasn’t returned more assists, despite him so far over-performing in that department slightly, as he’s made 10 key passes (a pass that leads to a shot) since the beginning of the season.
He’s had nine shots on goal in the Premier League but is yet to find the back of the net, although his performances suggest a bit of a haul is imminent.
Against Manchester United in the Premier League last weekend, Bowen had four shots on goal (0.23 xG) and made three key passes, resulting in his first assist of the season. And then in the visit to the Red Devils in the Carabao Cup a few days later, Bowen registered two shots on goal (one on target) and two key passes.
So while Bowen has been heavily praised in recent weeks for his performances, it seems we’re yet to see the best of him this season.