West Ham manager David Moyes has admitted there is still uncertainty regarding the fitness of forward Jarrod Bowen ahead of the clash with Everton.
The lowdown: Ongoing complications
The 25-year-old was forced off with an ankle injury as the Hammers succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool at the beginning of March and hasn’t been seen since.
That’s despite an initial prognosis suggesting that the issue wasn’t serious, with hope the in-form attacker would make a prompt return to action after the club themselves announced he had sustained ‘no significant damage’.
Now as a crunch clash at both ends of the table with Everton looms, Bowen’s participation remains in question.
The latest: Cause for ‘concern’
Giving a fresh update to the media ahead of the clash at the London Stadium, Moyes confirmed that the right-winger remains doubtful despite his return to training at Rush Green.
As quoted by journalist Jack Rosser on Twitter, Moyes was coy on the likelihood of Vladimir Coufal and Bowen featuring: “A chance that both of them could make it. I’m not sure if they’re ready and match fit, that would be a concern.”
This follows a report from Rosser for the Evening Standard stating that Bowen has an ongoing ankle issue and is in need of injections in order to strengthen the area prior to matches.
The verdict: A huge miss
Whilst Moyes and the supporting staff will be cautious of rushing the Englishman back, there can be no quantifying the impact Bowen’s absence has had on the Irons’ top-four hopes.
Despite maintaining a slim chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League spot via the Premier League final standings, winning the Europa League would now appear to present the most viable option for a place amongst Europe’s elite next season.
With 12 goals and 11 assists in 32 appearances across all competitions this term (Transfermarkt), getting the man hailed as ‘amazing’ by Kevin Phillips back to full fitness for the challenges ahead will be crucial to West Ham’s chances, even if it means leaving him out against the Toffees today.
In other news, West Ham halt contract talks with key player. Find out who it is here.
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