Jarrod Bowen’s time to shine?


Jarrod Bowen – VAVEL.com

Prior to Hull City’s encounter with Southampton on Sunday, they had seven players ruled out, six through injury. In the first 25 minutes, the East Yorkshire side also lost both strikers Will Keane and Abel Hernandez, yet scraped a 2-1 win.

It was an important victory, following a six-league game losing streak, but not necessarily one that vindicated the system in place. Centre-back Michael Dawson and midfielder Robert Snodgrass, who have just recovered from injury themselves, had good games, but the victory was largely down to the inspired David Marshall.

The Scot twice stopped Charlie Austin from bagging a brace before denying Maya Yoshida. Virgil Van Dijk headed over and Jay Rodgriguez’s effort was cleared off the line by Sam Clucas. The latter set up Snodgrass for an equalizer before the winger’s free-kick was headed in by Michael Dawson. Taking out those two second half minutes though, this was a game in which Southampton had complete control.

The average position of seven of the Saints’ ten outfield players was in the opposing half. While for 64 minutes, Snodgrass playing just off Dieumerci Mbokani brought Hull a fortuitous victory, a third attacking player may be needed against Sunderland, who are likely to sit deeper.

Adama Diomande will be suspended for that clash in two weeks, so a shortage of options could finally pave the way for Jarrod Bowen. He has impressed for the Under-18s and 21s sides and excelled in August’s EFL Cup win over Exeter, playing just wide of the main striker. Mike Phelan is yet to trust Bowen in the Premier League, bar a five-minute cameo at Watford, but his hand could be forced with four forwards, including the injured Greg Luer, unavailable.

The 19-year-old, who is creative, lively and clever in his movement, has signed a two-year contract this week. Snodgrass has done well when playing just to the right of a main striker, which will be target man Mbokani, but somebody may be needed to play on the left of a front three and Bowen could provide.

The former Hereford trainee is yet to prove himself in the Premier League and to introduce him to the first team would be a risk. However, given the potential he has shown, along with Hull’s current shortage of both goals and forwards, it is a risk they have to take.

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