West Ham are reportedly closing in on the signing of Watford winger Ismaila Sarr, but if the Senegal international does arrive at the London Stadium, it could well be the catalyst for Jarrod Bowen to depart.
ExWHUemployee recently revealed on his West Ham Way Patreon: “There has also been some talk of Sarr being 70% done by a source who seems to have taken the Watford equivalent of my name. I believe we had had talks with Watford but these need to continue for the deal to go anywhere.”
The 24-year-old managed just five goals and two assists last season as the Hornets were relegated from the Premier League, but previous performances, most notably his two-goal display in a 3-0 win against Liverpool in February 2020, demonstrate his ability.
Reports have suggested that Sarr would cost interested clubs as much as £40m this summer, and while West Ham fans would surely be hoping to see him arrive as competition for Bowen on the right-hand side, he could instead be arriving as the England international’s replacement.
Bowen enjoyed a fantastic season for David Moyes’ team, contributing 12 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League and averaging a superb 7.15 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
His displays earned him a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad recently and he will no doubt want to stay there ahead of the World Cup in November.
Although Declan Rice has shown that you can play for West Ham and still be called up for the Three Lions, there is arguably more competition for wingers in Southgate’s squad than central midfielders, and Bowen may feel that he has a better chance if he is playing his football elsewhere.
He may also be tempted to test himself in the Champions League, and with the likes of Liverpool having been linked in recent weeks, his head may well be turned by a move to Anfield.
However, Sarr could be a quality replacement for the former Hull City dynamo if he is given time to develop and reach his obvious potential.
When the Watford winger arrived in the Premier League, he was described as “rapid” by Senegalese compatriot Sadio Mane, while BBC journalist Garth Crooks later compared him to the new Bayern Munich signing last year after he hit a brace against Norwich.
Sarr hasn’t yet shown the same level of goal-scoring instincts of Bowen, but if the Englishman does leave the London Stadium this summer, the Hornets star could well be the ideal replacement on West Ham’s right flank.