Introduced into a West Ham team of expensively assembled stars who are stuttering through the season, Jarrod Bowen is going to prove key for David Moyes for he has arrived in east London in the mould of the Scot’s previous success stories.
During eleven years at Everton, the now Hammers boss took the Toffees from perennial relegation battlers to Europe by taking young, hungry, talented players from the Championship and giving them a platform to perform on the Premier League stage. Tim Cahill, signed from Millwall, helped the Blues finish in the top four with his talismanic displays and unbeatable ability in the air. Joleon Lescott was signed from Wolves and continued his surge as a brilliant centre-back or could read the game who could play too.
Moyes also picked up Phil Jagielka from relegated Sheffield United and turned him into a dependable and solid Everton captain. Andrew Johnson was another who went down with Crystal Palace before scoring Merseyside derby braces. Leighton Baines didn’t come from the second tier but did make a step up from Wigan and 14 years later is still starting games. He’s a quality operator and was given the chance by Moyes.
Now, Bowen can follow in their footsteps. Incredible ability and technique and still only 23, he is in the top-flight having joined from Hull and ready to take his opportunity. He so nearly scored in the game against Liverpool at Anfield though his lovely, deft chip was thwarted by Allison. However, in the home match against Southampton, he showed his skill to scoop the ball over the keeper and into the net. He’d arrived.
He is perfect for Moyes to shape and mould. He won’t burn Bowen out or put too much pressure on his shoulders but he will use his qualities to help West Ham and aid him to build up a consistent level of performance.
Moyes knows the similarities between his new protege and those in the past who rewarded his faith so handsomely.
"I can only go back and use my experience," Moyes told the media regarding Bowen’s possible impact upon signing. "It probably took Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka six months before they got into the team and become Premier League players. They became very, very good Premier League players.
"Others came in quicker, like Tim Cahill, who I brought in from the Championship and started very well.
“I want Jarrod to be for the long-term. If we're signing a boy from Hull and trying to find a way for him to be the saviour, that's wrong.”
For Moyes, the capture of Bowen represents a chance to do what he does best and an opportunity he wasn’t afforded at Manchester United or Sunderland. At present, Moyes can’t 100% rely on the likes of Felipe Anderson, signed for £42m and Sebastien Haller. However, he will hope to utilise Bowen and turn him into a performer who regularly delivers.
West Ham don’t really have a second to waste as they bid to beat the drop but Bowen will be given time. This is the long game way Moyes prefers to play and, so often at Everton, he reaped the rewards for his patience.