First England call-up is just reward for West Ham's Bowen
- Credit: PA
Jarrod Bowen's superb season with West Ham has been rewarded with a first England call-up.
Bowen, widely tipped for a place in the March international camp before injury denied him one, has been included in a 27-man group for June's Nations League fixtures against Hungary, Germany and Italy.
Only two Englishmen reached double figures for goals and assists in this season's Premier League - Bowen and England mainstay Mason Mount.
Bowen outscored the Chelsea man by one with 12 goals while each recorded 10 assists, joint third in the top flight behind Mohamed Salah and his Liverpool team-mate, and England international, Trent Alexander-Arnold.
National team skipper Harry Kane continued to top the combined ranking among English players with 17 goals and nine assists, but Bowen's statistics prove the 25-year-old belongs in that company.
Bowen has also produced against the league's leading lights, scoring twice against Manchester City before the champions fought back to force a 2-2 draw in the penultimate game of the season. Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester were also among the teams on the receiving end of Bowen goals.
He also recorded two assists in a game on three separate occasions, including against title challengers Liverpool in November. He also set up a couple against relegated pair Norwich and Watford and won a penalty in both games.
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Bowen's statistics have improved every season since his move from East Yorkshire to east London, playing more games each season and increasing his productivity.
After joining in January 2020, he played 13 games in the remainder of that season and scored his first Premier League goal in his third appearance as the Hammers beat Southampton 3-1, adding four assists to quickly make a good impression in his new colours.
He played in every league game last season and 40 in all competitions, with eight goals and five assists to show for it, before scoring 18 in 51 games this term while also reaching double figures for assists (13).
His spell at Hull had followed the same pattern, beginning with limited exposure at the tail end of a Premier League relegation season. He then scored 14 Championship goals in 2017-18, 22 the following campaign and 16 in 29 games in 2019-20 before his mid-season move.
Bowen's humble beginnings with Hereford, where he made eight National League appearances as a 17-year-old, will also provide a source of inspiration for young players lower down the footballing pyramid.
England manager Gareth Southgate said: "His direct journey is an interesting reminder that you don't have to be at an elite academy - experience is a great route to go."