This article originally featured on our flagship football analysis site, totalfootballanalysis.com.
The 2018/19 season has seen many young players gain an increase in reputation. The latest is Hull City’s winger, Jarrod Bowen. The inside-forward so far has contributed with 11 goals and three assists. The 22-year-old has claimed three man-of-the-match awards, with an impressive 7.10 average rating according to WhoScored. In this analysis, we will discover what has improved for Bowen, and what his next steps could be.
With an incredible dribble success rate of 70%, Bowen has the ability to glide past defenders. With 1.44 progressive runs per game, it’s shown that Bowen doesn’t like to dribble at a high pace, which we see Eden Hazardand Neymar do a lot. Instead, Bowen excels in tight spaces. His ability to wriggle his way through opponent lines to either shoot or pass is excellent, as proven with his dribble success percentage.
In the image above, Bowen is deep in his own half. He sees the opportunity to counter as he is being pressed heavily. This is what separates him from Championship players; his level of flair and speed combines to make a Premier League winger. Such quick decision making sees him break away down the pitch, and as he is quite fast, no one catches him.
In this image, we see one of Bowen’s best traits: his defensive ability. He has an excellent attacking and defensive brain, a trait that makes him a Premier League-standard player.
After winning the ball, QPR begin to press Bowen heavily. Due to his close control and good levels of flair, he beats this press and now has acres of space to exploit.
Bowen burst into the space he created. The QPR high-press is now disrupted. As a result of this, Bowen has created confusion. With defenders stepping out, and midfielders tracking back towards him, Bowen creates space for his striker to run into. He then lays a beautifully weighted pass. This passing ability allows him to play as a number 10, adding versatility to his resume.
With 15 goals in all competitions last season, Bowen was Hull’s top goal scorer: impressive from the wing. However, he’s already scored 11 goals in the Championship, and we’re only halfway through the season.
Bowen’s close control abilities make his finishing even more potent. He can drop his shoulder and manipulate space, giving him that extra split second to ready himself to shoot.
As we can see above, Bowen has cut into space between two players. His decision making is very quick, like all good players. He spots an overload of four players on the left wing. Instead, he decides to cut inside to try and manipulate space to shoot.
Bowen has the confidence and composure to dribble into a crowd of players. Here, we see him after deciding to dribble towards goal. He feints his body by dropping a shoulder and creates a split-second gap between the defender and himself. His curling effort gave the goalkeeper no chance to cap a good solo goal.
With three touches in the box per game, Bowen is routinely in goalscoring positions. This statistic, however, has often doubled in the last five games. Included in this run are a 6-0 win over Bolton, a shock 2-0 win against Leeds and a 3-2 win against QPR. Bowen has contributed to goals & assists in these games and has been the game-changing player.
Bowen scored both of the goals in a shock win vs Bielsa‘s Leeds. With four touches in the box, Bowen already had a greater influence in the advanced attacking phases.
Against Leeds, he started the game as a right midfielder with the aim to cut inside and overload central areas. In the advanced attacking stage, he was almost a number 10 being so narrow. This allowed him to shoot more often, as well as gain more touches in the box.
With a total of nine shots, massively higher than his average of two shots per-game, Bowen had a freer-role to attack and expressive himself on the pitch. Bowen was expressive enough with an xG of 1.79 to completely change the game, and sink a Leeds that then seemed unstoppable.
Excellent defensive ability
A key part to Bowen’s game is his excellent work-rate and defensive IQ. He boasts an impressive 4.06 interceptions per game. He has also won 5.35 duels in the opposition’s half whilst only picking up two yellow cards so far. A clean yet an aggressive player in the press, he shows high levels of bravery.
Hull often look to play on the counter, and Bowen is key to this. As mentioned earlier, his 5.35 duels won in the opposition’s half allows his team to attack with width and speed. With a total of 5.66 duels won per game, he’s a fantastic pawn to have in a counter-pressing side.
As shown above, Bowen has a high work-rate with an emphasis on winning the ball higher up the pitch. The heat map also shows Bowen’s desire to cut-inside and overload the half-spaces, similar to players like Pedro, Heung-min Son, and Mane. This is a common trend in the Premier League. Sides like Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester Cityoften favour central overloads in an attempt to outscore the opponent, as well as pressing heavily.
Bowen has the ability to make decisions at a high speed. This allows him to decide whether to pass or to shoot. He is highly capable at either, as he has the ability to manipulate opposition lines with his close control and agility to create space.
With three assists, he isn’t the same type of creative player as Eriksen or Ozil. Instead, he plays plenty of neat passes from wide areas to create goalscoring opportunities more akin to Hazard or Alexis Sanchez. With an xA of 0.12 per game, if Bowen had a greater quality of players ahead of him, he would have many more assists. This statistic is attractive to clubs in higher divisions, as it shows the potential to be a regular contributor to goals.
Bowen has an impressive level of technique, allowing him to lay off perfect through balls. With 2.07 passes into the box per game, Bowen is a neat and precise passer with the ability to punish teams. With a more potent striking force ahead of him, Bowen could be a really impressive player in the Premier League.
With Spurs taking their attention away from Jack Grealish, they may have found a player of a similar mould and ability in Bowen. However, Burnley and Leeds are also monitoring him and could be a threat to Tottenham’s bid. With the Lilywhites looking to offload Vincent Janssen, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Fernando Llorente before signing anyone, there is plenty of time for other clubs to come in and swoop Bowen from beneath them. Hull are looking for a bid of ₤20 million according to Sky Sports News, ₤5million less than Jack Grealish’s asking price. With Spurs looking to sign a home-grown talent, Bowen would be absolutely perfect.
With James Maddison recently stepping up and even gaining a senior England call-up, the Championship has proven to be a hotbed of English talent. In the aftermath of Brexit, there could be a tighter limit of foreign players allowed in squads. English players will see an even bigger increase in value as the need for home-grown talent will skyrocket, and Spurs seem to be interested in these players before values increase.
There is every possibility that the financially conservative Daniel Levy could see this deal stall. With interest high though, Jarrod Bowen will be in the Premier League in no time, and we should all look forward to this. A player of his calibre and tactical versatility would be a boost to any top-six side. He would also provide more competition for the English national side, although he also qualifies for Wales. His dual nationality could cause another battle between the British nations and would certainly see Bowen in the spotlight soon, such is his quality.
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