West Ham could land their next Jarrod Bowen with bargain summer transfer raid

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A rumoured summer transfer target for West Ham has a hint of Jarrod Bowen about him - but could he cut it in the Premier League?

Along with some notes about a likely change of manager, a recent report from The Guardian suggested that West Ham United are looking at two Championships players as potential summer signings – Hull City’s Jacob Greaves (whose qualities we’ve discussed before) and Coventry City winger Callum O’Hare.

O’Hare is an interesting target. The 25-year-old was voted as the Sky Blues’ 2021/22 player of the season after scoring five goals and providing eight assists, but missed nearly a year of football due to a serious knee injury. But now he’s back to full fitness and back in form, scoring six times in 17 starts this season. Could he cut it at a higher level?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Solihull-born winger, who is right-footed but regularly plays on both flanks, is not without flaws. His first touch can be a little heavy and he doesn’t have the kind of express pace that many wingers live off of, although his spidery, sprawling running style has provided plenty of headaches for defenders in the second tier. Nor is he a great crosser of the ball, although there are many worse. But in his qualities, you can see a few hints of Jarrod Bowen, another wide forward who made his name in the Championship.

Like Bowen, he’s excellent in the box – he’s a sharp and composed finisher but also brilliant at creating a quick half-yard of space and setting up quick passing interchanges with the strikers. He may not possess lightning pace, but he’s nimble and the speed of his decision-making in a tight corner suggests his football brain operates at a decent rate of knots.

O’Hare doesn’t score as many as Bowen – who has 16 league goals for West Ham this season – but the way Coventry use him doesn’t get him into the box as often, either, with Bowen getting around 20% more touches inside the penalty area. In terms of how efficient they are once they get there, there isn’t a massive gap between them.

Not that O’Hare is likely to become a 15-goal player with just a couple of minor tactical tweaks. He scores with 17% of his shots, which is very good but less than the 22% Bowen manages and that’s in the Premier League, when the defenders are getting tighter and the goalkeepers make saves more often. But you can see what the Hammers might see in him – a winger who can push up into the box and add a genuine goal threat, and with the dribbling skills to get the ball forward when it’s picked up in deeper areas.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He’s pretty handy off the ball, too – he’s impressively energetic in Coventry’s pressing system and recovers possession 3.3 times per game, a very healthy number and similar to the volume Bowen achieves. At his best, O’Hare could mirror Bowen’s work on the other side of the field – and even if he can’t quite kick on to that level, he could well prove to be a very handy deputy.

Of course, O’Hare is 25 and coming off a major injury. There are dozens of promising Championship players who failed to make the grade when they took the next step up the ladder, and who didn’t have the same question marks next to their name. But then, he wouldn’t be an expensive gamble – his contract is up at the end of the season and he has rejected a new deal at Coventry. He wouldn’t cost a penny past wages and signing bonus.

So the ceiling is Bowen-esque player who can tie together attacks in the final third, work space in the box and score some goals, and if he doesn’t work out that the cost was minimal. Presumably, West Ham won’t be the only team who play with a front three and who like to press out of possession who like those odds. He looks like a natural tactical fit at West Ham and signing him would be a low-risk, high-reward move. On that basis alone, it’s hard to argue against it.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.