Championship Cracks: Jarrod Bowen (Hull City)

There's a generation of creative talent making waves and playmaking their way to a big move

11:54am on Thursday 12th December 2019
Paul Macdonald
23 yrs - DM, AM (R) - Hull City
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Man of the match


Bowen has been playing football since the age of 16 when he made his professional debut with Hereford and eventually signed for Hull City later in 2014. After impressing in pre-season in 2016 he has been in the team and he hasn't looked back. He scored 14 goals in 42 Championship appearances in 17-18 and upped his game considerably in 18-19, netting 22 as he remained ever-present in the side.

Bowen has been linked with a move away from the club for almost 12 months, but current boss Grant McCann has been adamant that the player has never approached him asking to leave. But in Hull's position as one of the league's clear selling clubs, it will only be a matter of time before the 22-year-old is playing at a higher level.


It's discussed on most Championship shows each and every weekend; why is Bowen still playing for Hull City?

It's no disrespect to a club who were playing in the Premier League - and Europe - just a few years ago, but Hull's trajectory is moving in the opposite direction from that of one of the league's hottest properties. Bowen's skills are so immediately obvious that it's wonder, in this day and age of a small football world where most recruitment teams have a long list with half of the talents in Europe on it, that he's still here at 22.

18 combined goals + assists so far this season, two more than the internationally-renowned Aleksandar Mitrovic, on an Expected G + A of 13. No-one has hit more shots in total (71) while his accuracy is in the top six with an average of 45%, all of this coming from a position on the right of the attack. He's nowhere near the highest dribblers, or touches in the box. He's not regularly in positions to score yet his numbers outstrip every out-and-out centre-forward in the division.

And maybe that's the problem. His data set is strange. He's a hungry scorer of goals but doesn't act like a forward, and he's a wide player who doesn't regularly look to take on his man. He's a strange, multi-position hybrid that a team like Hull can completely indulge in the absence of, well, ambition.

Hull City have just released a YouTube compilation of his 50 goals for the club in the past three seasons, and the striking thing is the broad mix of goals. There's neat one-on-one finishes, poachers efforts from close range, and there's also a fair share of brilliant long-range strikes. It helps to explain how he has clearly outperformed his xG; 14 goals on 9.19 xG in 17-18, and 22 goals on 17.42 xG in 18-19. And he's outperforming it by four this season, too.

He's clearly proven himself to be too good for this level. So what's coming?


Leicester are a long-term admirer and with Brendan Rodgers and a notoriously shrewd recruitment team in place there, it would be surprising if he isn't on their radar, especially considering the way they play. Leicester seem to be the ideal club for any young player to join judging by what they have done with James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, including the development of youth product Ben Chilwell and, just ahead of him, Harvey Barnes.

It's an ideal destination but only if it comes with regular minutes and a team sitting second in the league simply can't offer that at the moment. So he should be wary of that situation.

Newcastle are also a clear link and while the season hasn't been anywhere near as bleak as some feared under Steve Bruce - sitting in 10th position on 22 points from 16 games at the time of writing - it may not be the ideal destination. Much of Newcastle's football is about stopping the opposition and recent offensive arrivals - namely Joelinton and Miguel Almiron - have suffered terribly from a lack of support. Bowen isn't the man to provide that. He's more likely to be a replacement. But would he find himself similarly frozen out in a team where only Watford and Crystal Palace have scored less goals?


PROJECTED TRANSFER FEE: With his contract set to expire in June 2020, though Hull have an option to extend, it's seems likely the club will cash in in January to ensure the player doesn't leave for free. With that in mind, £10m may be enough to do the job.

View Jarrod Bowen's full profile

Watch Jarrod Bowen's 50 goals for Hull City (YouTube)

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