Jarrod Bowen is prolific.
Since netting on his Hull City debut at Aston Villa in August 2017, no player has scored more Championship goals than the 23-year-old – and it is not even remotely close.
In the two-and-two-thirds seasons since then, Bowen found the net on 52 occasions; that is eight more than Nottingham Forest’s Lewis Grabban, 13 more than Brentford’s Ollie Watkins, 16 more than Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp and 17 more than Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga over the same period.
Only Neal Maupay, who scored 37 goals in two seasons for Brentford before transferring to Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion last summer, has a strike-rate comparable with West Ham United’s highly-rated January signing.
However, what sets Bowen apart from all those mentioned, as well as the likes of Derby County’s Martyn Waghorn, Bristol City’s Famara Diedhiou and Leeds United’s Patrick Bamford is that he is not a centre forward.
Of the 117 Championship appearances he made for Hull, just he started just SIX as a central striker. Of the other 111, Bowen started 106 on the wing – 102 on the right and four on the left – and five as a second striker.
Add in the fact that Bowen has taken just six penalties, scoring four of them, and his goalscoring record is all the more incredible.
So, why and how as the Hammers’ new No17 found the back of the net so often?
According to analytics website Smarter Scout, Bowen ‘excels because he takes a ton of shots at good positions in the box. We estimate his average chance of scoring at 12%, which is high for a winger’.
Despite nominally starting the game wide on the right, he gets himself into advanced positions more often than most players. Of the 38 Championship goals he scored since the start of the 2018/19 season, eight were netted from inside the opposition six-yard box.
Bowen also benefits from being two-footed. So, while many inverted wingers score virtually all their goals by cutting inside onto their stronger foot, the former Tiger has the ability to go past his man on the outside and shoot with his right.
Of his 52 league goals for Hull, 14 were scored with his right foot, in addition to the 35 he netted with his preferred left, and three headers.
“Bowen both shoots and scores with his off foot from wide positions,” according to James Bowen of analysis website StatsBomb. “If you watch how he takes his shots, he often shoots quickly and hard, catching goalkeepers off guard. That he can do this with both feet and in tough zones with his off foot? That’s not a common skill. It also gives him an advantage against the defender, as there isn’t a sensible direction to shepherd him if he’s in possession in the box.”
In addition to his goalscoring ability, Bowen also brings his teammates into play, registering 12 Championship assists for Hull, including a career-high six this season.
And, as you might expect for a winger, he also loves running with the ball at his feet, ranking sixth of all Championship players with 99 dribbles to his name this term.
All in all, Jarrod Bowen may be prolific, but he is more than a winger. He is a goalscorer, a goal provider and a player who can hurt the opposition in many different ways.