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World Cup 2022: Jarrod Bowen's price slashed to make Southgate's Qatar squad

Jarrod Bowen has yet to receive an international call up but finds himself in rich form this season
Jarrod Bowen has yet to receive an international call up but finds himself in rich form this season

We're 308 days out from this year's World Cup and after stepping into 2022, excitement levels are officially growing. Just seven days before we're tucking into the turkey, the final will be being played out in 20°C+ heat with us all hopeful that Southgate and his Three Lions will go one step further than their Euro 2020 run.

At this time before a major tournament, fans and Gareth Southgate alike will be assessing the options available at England's disposal in a bid to assemble the strongest possible squad for the winter tournament. And one name who has certainly caught the eye in this department during the 2021/22 campaign is Jarrod Bowen.

Bowen's Path

Bowen has been a significant contributor to West Ham's success and he has Moyes to thank for bringing him to East London. He joined on a five-and-a-half-year, £20m-plus deal from Hull City in January 2020, with his acquisition completed on the back of a half-season in the Championship where he netted 16 times in 29 matches for the Tigers. The man's journey so far is proof that the cream always rises to the top.

Back in 2014 when his senior career began at Hereford United, the Leominster-born footballer had recently suffered back-to-back unsuccessful trials with two Premier League clubs - Aston Villa and Cardiff City. He was subsequently accepted on a scholarship at local club Hereford and was quickly accelerated into the first team setup after impressing at youth level.

The youngster was enjoying his football, scoring his first senior goal in April 2014. But just a matter of months later, Hereford were expelled from the Football Conference after failing to pay outstanding bills, leaving Bowen's promising career in potential jeopardy.

That was before he secured himself a move to Premier League side Hull City - a place he'd not long since been rejected from entering on two separate occasions. The Englishman had to wait a further two years for his chance at first-team action, playing the full 90 minutes in an EFL Cup win over Exeter City. He would later go on to cement himself in the ranks during the 2017/18 campaign where he finished as Hull's top scorer for the season with 15 goals across all competitions.

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Scoring's In His DNA

His fine goalscoring form has continued throughout his career, with 22 goals in all comps during the 2018/19 season, followed by the numbers he produced in the opening half of the following term before West Ham paved the way for a PL return.

After just one goal from 13 appearances in the opening five months of his new challenge, he would find his feet properly the following season in a top flight campaign which saw him score eight and assist five times, featuring in every single one of West Ham's 38 league matches.

This time around, the versatile forward is boasting a fantastic level of output, with six goals and seven assists in the league providing evidence that his numbers are no fluke. For some more context about how impressive this tally is, he's currently top of the charts for goal contributions among all English players this season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's 10 assists are still somehow not enough to see him pip Bowen to top spot, and the likes of Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka, Jamie Vardy, Conor Gallagher, Emile Smith-Rowe and Raheem Sterling are all below him in the ranks this term.

To fully understand the kind of impact he's having, know that he's let off the sixth highest total number of shots in the Premier League in the 2021/22 campaign, behind only Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Cristiano Ronaldo and fellow teammate Michail Antonio.

In terms of shots on target, Mohamed Salah is the only player to have registered more in the PL this term. You'd be hard pressed to find a man in much better form than Bowen right now, having tallied three goals and four assists in his last five league games, including a hat-trick of assists vs Crystal Palace and not even mentioning his goal against Leeds in the FA Cup the weekend prior to last.

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What Could He Offer England?

Bowen's versatility could be his greatest asset when it comes to him staking a place on the plane to Qatar. Southgate typically holds a few spots in his 23-man squad for players who can play numerous positions and JB fits that bill. As explained by Moyes upon signing, he is a wide forward who has filled in at number 10 and even the centre forward role.

Looking at his breakdown of contributions in positions played, he's by far most comfortable and at his deadliest when deployed from wide right. He's produced five goals and five assists from 18 games here, as opposed to two goals and two assists in six when used as a centre forward. Perhaps the Bowen's emergence has come at a good time with so much up in the air about England's front three, particularly on that right-hand side.

His energy, love of crossing and fearlessness are all qualities Bowen carries with him every time he steps out onto the pitch and they also happen to be things we've grown to appreciate from this current England team.

If he was selected for the tournament it would fit alongside the trend of promoting players who have played in lower leagues and worked their way to the very top, with Mason Mount, Jack Grealish, Kalvin Phillips and Reece James just a few recent examples of this.

Chances of Making the 2022 England Squad

Since his inclusion in the market to make England's 2022 squad, Bowen's price has shortened from 8/1 on the 24th November last year to just 11/4 as of the 16th January 2022.

That's a significant price shift and one that doesn't come as such of a surprise given his hot form. At the time of writing, he is best priced at 3/1 with BetVictor to make the squad in November, but if his significant contributions continue, expect that to shorten even further in the coming months.

If you'd have predicted Bowen's call up at the beginning of the season, you might have turned quite a few heads. Now, not so much. And if we're comparing his odds, he is the same price as former members James Ward-Prowse and Jesse Lingard who we know Southgate rates.

You only have to look at Southgate's history with experimentation - particularly through qualifiers and friendlies - to know that if the midfielder keeps up how he's performing, a place in June's Nations League squad beckons.

If that does happen, anticipate another price drop as he closes in on representing England for the first time at any level throughout his career - marking another milestone in a burgeoning career.

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