important 3 points and first goal of the season! getting ready for Tuesday now. thank you to the fans for the support🤟🐯⚽️ pic.twitter.com/yxfcBSu3oF
— Jarrod Bowen (@jarrodbowen_) September 15, 2018
Starting his professional career with expulsion from the Conference wasn’t exactly an auspicious beginning in the beautiful game for Jarrod Bowen.
This lad from Leominster in Herefordshire saw local club Hereford United kicked out of non-league and wound up just months after his cross-country switch to Hull City.
As a youth team player, Bowen had unsuccessful trials with teams much closer to home, but neither Cardiff City nor Aston Villa was willing to take a chance.
Steve Bruce liked what he saw in the young forward, however, and brought him to Humberside over the summer of 2014. After impressing in pre-season a couple of years later, Mike Phelan handed Bowen his bow in the EFL Cup.
First-team opportunities were hard to come by, however, in a season of struggle that ended with relegation from one of the top sporting institutions in England, the Premier League. Hull had three different bosses that campaign and Bowen played nine times without finding the target.
Since scoring his first Tigers goal – ironically enough against old boss Bruce and Aston Villa, the club who rejected him as a boy – Bowen hasn’t looked back. He’s reached a half-century for Hull in just two-and-a-quarter years since his first Championship game on August 5, 2017.
One of the hottest homegrown prospects outside Premier League
Was this campaign a flash in the pan or a real breakthrough season? It was the latter and Bowen kicked on with 22 goals in 45 starts – netting a third of Hull’s total of 66 goals as they comfortably finished in mid-table last term.
He was starting to get noticed, however. Fellow professionals voted Bowen into the EFL Championship Team of the Season. He again won Tigers supporters’ and players’ Player of the Year gongs.
Seven of the top nine goalscorers in the division were British, and Bowen was rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tammy Abraham – now a starter at Chelsea under Frank Lampard – and Che Adams, who has since signed for Premier League side Southampton.
Another young Championship forward prospect, Oli McBurnie, was also on the move and joined promoted Sheffield United over the summer. Bowen stayed put, however, and continues to be prolific for Hull.
His 12 goals after 19 league games have put the Tigers just six points off a play-off place. As of December 3, they have 13/2 chances with Betway for a top six Championship finish and 20/1 to go up – but those odds are dependent on Bowen remaining in East Yorkshire.
The more goals he scores, the strongest the interest from elsewhere is going to be. Bowen is Hull’s prized asset and it doesn’t bear thinking about where they would be without him.
A person of interest for Magpies
Marks out of 10 for Steve Bruce so far then, #nufc fans?
Reply to this with your marks. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/aTjlGcDHel
— The Chronicle (@ChronicleNUFC) November 30, 2019
Old boss Bruce is strongly and consistently linked with a move to take him up the east coast to Newcastle United. Even being slapped with a reported £20 million price tag – despite Magpies owner Mike Ashley has a reputation as something of a skinflint with the Tyneside team’s finances – hasn’t stopped the speculation.
That previous relationship between Bowen and Bruce may be key to any winter move in the January transfer window. Newcastle is among the lowest scorers in the Premier League, so it’s no wonder they are looking to boost their forward options.
Recent signings made by the Magpies under both Bruce and predecessor Rafa Benitez in attacking areas haven’t made any real impact at St James’ Park. Returning Geordie hero Andy Carroll has struggled for fitness, while Joelinton – the big Brazilian July buy from the Bundesliga – has just one Premier League goal in 14 games.
Paraguay playmaker Miguel Almiron, who arrived on Tyneside last January, and summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin haven’t produced either. Newcastle is lacking top-level quality, so Bowen is well worth a try.
Having a proper crack at the Premier League is the next logical step for him. Bowen turns 23 before the year is out and is still some way from reaching his prime, so his rise could well continue.