West Ham United have enjoyed something of a growing reputation in the transfer market over the past few years, with David Moyes and Rob Newman looking as if they have stuck up an extremely solid working relationship when it comes to targeting and subsequently signing players for the club.
Indeed, it would appear that the days of poorly planned transfer windows – personified by the arrivals of Havard Nordtveit, Ashley Fletcher, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sofiane Feghouli, Edimilson Fernandes and Andre Ayew in the summer of 2016 – are now long behind the Hammers, with the club’s new transfer strategy already appearing to have paid off.
In recent seasons – practically since Moyes’ initial appointment at the club in November of 2017 – West Ham have got more transfers right than they have wrong, with the likes of Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal, Craig Dawson, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen having all arrived for relatively modest fees before establishing themselves in the first team.
And, while any one of these players could easily be the subject of this article, there is nevertheless one clear standout as West Ham’s most intelligent signing amongst this aforementioned group – that of the club’s £20m deal for Bowen back in January of 2020.
After getting off to a decent start in his West Ham career – scoring four goals and registering four assists over 13 Premier League appearances in 2019/20, before bagging eight goals and providing five assists over 38 league fixtures in 2020/21 – the 25-year-old undoubtedly enjoyed his best campaign to date last time out.
Indeed, over his 36 Premier League appearances in 2021/22, the £61m-rated talent was in remarkable form, scoring 12 goals, registering 12 assists and creating nine big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 2.2 shots – 0.9 of which hit the target – making 1.2 key passes and completing 1.4 dribbles per game.
These returns saw the £96k-per-week winger average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.09, with his exceptional performances not only ranking him as Moyes’ second-best player in the league but also seeing the former Hull City starlet earn his first caps for England.
However, it was not only in the top flight of English football that Bowen impressed last term, as the forward also scored three goals and provided one assist over nine appearances in West Ham’s run to the Europa League semi-final, bagged two goals in three FA Cup fixtures and notched one further goal in three Carabao Cup games – taking his total to 18 goals and 13 assists over 51 appearances in 2021/22.
As such, it is clear to see that Moyes well and truly hit the jackpot when splashing £20m on Bowen, as not only is the winger’s market value 205% greater than his initial cost, but the player – who Jurgen Klopp dubbed “unbelievable” and Stephen Killen labelled “unreal” – has also become an absolutely integral part of the 59-year-old manager’s starting XI at the London Stadium.