Arsenal are reportedly keen on making a move for West Ham United winger Jarrod Bowen, as manager Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his attacking options.
What’s the word?
As per the Beautiful Game Podcast, the Gunners have “opened contact” with the 25-year-old’s representatives in the hope of striking a deal, with the player having also previously been linked with a move to Premier League rivals, Liverpool.
Should Arsenal sign Jarrod Bowen?
Writing on Twitter about the north Londoners’ interest, the source stated that: “Arsenal have opened contact with the representatives of Jarrod Bowen over a possible transfer. He is amongst their list of potential transfer targets which includes Leeds United’s Raphinha”.
The Emirates outfit will no doubt face a battle to secure a deal, with the Hammers said to be demanding as much as £75m to let the Englishman depart, while David Moyes and co are also readying a bumper new deal to try and tempt the forward into committing his long-term future to the club.
Having only recently earned a long overdue England call-up, Bowen is currently riding high at the end of what proved to be another fine campaign in a claret and blue jersey, as he proved himself one of the most influential players in the division, netting 12 goals and providing a further ten assists in 36 games.
That haul of assists was only bettered by two players in the top-flight last term – Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (12) and Mohamed Salah (13) – showcasing just how impressive his form has been, with the £80k-per-week gem continuing to go from strength under Moyes’ watch.
Plucked from Hull City in a £20m deal in January 2020, the one-time Hereford man has gone on to provide 50 goal contributions for the Irons thus far, proving integral to the club’s run to the Europa League semi-finals last term.
In truth, his stellar impact has been hard to ignore with it no surprise that the Gunners are tracking his progress, with a new wide option seemingly on the agenda for Arteta and co, amid links to Leeds United’s Raphinha.
Both the Brazilian and Bowen appear most comfortable on the right flank where they can then cut in onto their stronger left foot, with it becoming clear as to the profile of player that the Arsenal boss is chasing.
Although that may cast doubt over Bukayo Saka’s long-term future – with the academy graduate currently the preferred option on the right wing – the most obvious casualty of a new arrival is likely to be Nicolas Pepe, with the Ivorian having failed to ever truly justify his £72m transfer fee.
Signed from Lille in the summer of 2019, the 27-year-old has since struggled to nail down a regular starting berth, notably making just five starts in the top-flight in total during the 2021/2 campaign – scoring just once.
The year prior had proved quite profitable for the £140k-per-week speedster as he bagged ten league goals and a further six in the Europa League, although even then his role remained somewhat reduced, with the rise of the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and the aforementioned Saka hampering his game time.
Dubbed “lacklustre” by pundit Joe Cole last year, Pepe has at times appeared disinterested in a Gunners shirt, drifting through games without managing to make his mark, even though there is undoubted quality in there somewhere.
In Bowen then, Arteta has seemingly identified a “unique” talent – as he has been labelled by Ian Holloway – who can displace Pepe from the current squad, with it finally time that the £27m-rated wide man is moved on this summer.
The belief is that the player himself also wishes to part ways, with Arsenal set to secure an instant upgrade if they can usher the West Ham man through the door.