By Andy Sims, PA
Jarrod Bowen is using Mohamed Salah as his inspiration as he spearheads West Ham’s bid for glory on three fronts and edges closer to an England call-up.
Bowen fired the Hammers into the fourth round of the FA Cup – and a meeting with non-league Kidderminster – with the second goal in a 2-0 win over Leeds.
The 25-year-old has also starred in West Ham’s successful Europa League group-stage campaign as well as their climb to the brink of the Champions League spots in the Premier League.
Bowen has even been touted for a move to Liverpool, but it is the influence of Reds talisman Salah which is pushing the winger to greater heights.
“I think Mo Salah is the perfect example, the goals he scores and assists he gets – the impact he has on games and consistently doing it every season since he joined Liverpool,” said Bowen.
“He is definitely one that I look at and I think he is one of the best players in the world at the moment.
“As a player you always want to look at people in a similar position to yours and learn from them.”
What a season this man is having! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/W0nyOKxsNr
— West Ham United (@WestHam) January 9, 2022
Bowen, who has scored six goals this season, has been tipped for a call from Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate in the near future.
But he added: “I think this season was about progression and getting the call-up for England is the ultimate dream.
“That is out of my hands. My job is to deliver on the pitch and show what I am about. That’s all I can do; keep putting in the performances and the end product.
“If it happens then it happens, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I can only control what I am doing.
“It’s not on my mind. The more you think about these situations which are not in your control, the more it plays on your mind and affects you.
“You’ve got to keep your head down. I don’t really look at social media and people talking because you can get misled if you read too much into things.
“I just train hard and when it comes to the weekend it’s about putting my A-game in. What happens will happen.”
Manuel Lanzini fired West Ham into a half-time lead against a youthful Leeds side, with Bowen wrapping up the victory in stoppage time.
Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa was again without striker Patrick Bamford, who had been expected to play after a spell out injured.
However, Bielsa said: “In training during the week he suffered an injury that is not identifiable.
“It’s a knock underneath his hip and it’s still not clear what’s the reason behind it. The only thing for sure is it’s not muscular because his muscles are healthy.”