Arsenal Opinion: Jarrod Bowen could be an ideal alternative to Wilfried Zaha
According to The Sun, Arsenal are plotting £12 million bid for Hull City winger Jarrod Bowen, with reports claiming that the Gunners have identified the 22-year-old as a cheaper alternative to Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.
The Sun understands that Arsenal have been keeping close tabs on Bowen since January and the Gunners are apparently convinced with whatever they have seen of him in the Championship.
The Tigers value their prized asset at £15 million but they might be tempted to let him go for a fee less than that if the Gunners come knocking.
Zaha continues to be Arsenal’s No.1 target for the summer, but with Crystal Palace refusing to lower their £80 million asking price for the Ivorian, the Gunners are likely to be blown out of the water in the race to sign the devastating attacker.
Arsenal do not have a lot of cash to throw around in the transfer window this time around after failing to secure Champions League football for the third consecutive season and spending such an amount on a single player looks beyond the realms of possibility at the moment.
Hence, it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that they have already started looking at more affordable alternatives in the market. Jarrod Bowen might not be of the same level as Zaha in terms of quality and experience but he is four years younger than the Ivorian and few would dare to argue that he is a player with a lot of talent and potential.
The 22-year-old was one of the shining lights of Hull City’s otherwise mediocre campaign in the Championship this past season, as Bowen registered an impressive 22 goals and 4 assists to help the Tigers to a 13th-place finish in the standings. Well, those are incredible returns for a wide player in any given league and such a tally would even make a striker envious.
Bowen not only bagged five man-of-the-match distinctions in the Championship this past season but he also claimed a number of awards at the club’s annual ceremony.
Besides featuring in the 2018-19 Championship Team of the Season, the 22-year-old won the Player of the Year, Hull City Supporter’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year awards.
Essentially a right-winger by trade, Bowen is noted for his technical abilities on the ball, lightning pace, silky dribbling skills, as well as quick acceleration, tenacity, drive, determination and clinical finishing.
A skilled left-footed operator down the flanks, the 22-year-old’s low centre-of-gravity allows him to keep good close control in tight areas, whilst his ability to change directions quickly and cut inside with pace makes him a nightmare for the full-backs.
Bowen not only excels with his pace, acceleration and ability to run at defenders but he is also very precise with his finishing and never hesitates to pull the trigger from outside the box.
He made a name for himself as a powerful distance shooter in the Championship last season and those traits should help him get to grips with the dynamic nature of the Premier League in a relatively short span of time.
To put things into perspective, Jarrod Bowen is not the finished article just yet but he could prove to be a handy alternative to Zaha as far as Arsenal are concerned.
While bringing in defensive reinforcements continue to be a top priority for Unai Emery, Arsenal also need to focus on recruiting some young and talented attackers and Bowen certainly fits the bill.
The likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette shouldered the bulk of the goalscoring burden in the Premier League last season.
While Bowen won’t be expected to deliver the goods week-in-week-out at the Emirates, the 22-year-old could be a good replacement for Danny Welbeck, who departed the club upon the expiry of his contract.
Looking at things from a tactical point of view, Arsenal currently do not have a natural winger to fill in on the right-hand side of Emery’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system.
Given that the likes of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan struggled to acclimatise to the Spaniard’s philosophy last season, bringing in Bowen certainly makes a lot of sense for the Gunners.
Hence, the sooner that Arsenal come to terms with reality and accept the fact that they are simply going to be priced out of a move for Zaha, the better it is for them.
Bowen’s potential has been there for everybody to see and he is a player who would offer a lot of value for money.
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Keeping that in mind, Arsenal should go all out to land the Hull City man this summer in a bid to solve their right-wing conundrum.