West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

Jarrod Bowen says England call-up means ‘everything’; compares Declan Rice with the Prem’s best

West Ham and England player Jarrod Bowen

Jarrod Bowen says his maiden England call-up means ‘everything’, while the forward has also made a big claim about West Ham team-mate Declan Rice.

Bowen recently finished an excellent campaign with West Ham. He notched 18 goals and 13 assists in all competitions.

That exciting form helped West Ham finish seventh in the Prem and reach the semi-final of the Europa League, where they were beaten by Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bowen had been in the mix for an England call-up in March. But an injury meant he couldn’t make Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Things are different this time around though. The 25-year-old is in the Three Lions setup and could make his international debut against Hungary on Saturday.

Bowen has had an intriguing journey to the top. He began his career at Hereford before joining Hull in July 2014. A move to West Ham followed in January 2020, with the Irons paying more than £20million for his signature.

“Sometimes I sit back and look back at where we’ve come from, and especially being in an England camp now – not being big-headed, I’ve got to take my hat off to myself from where I’ve come from and what I’ve done,” the star said (via BBC Sport).

“It is everything. Everything you dream of when you’re growing up and to get the call, obviously it’s an honour and a privilege of mine.”

Jarrod Bowen praises Declan Rice

Bowen is in the squad alongside West Ham team-mate Rice. When asked if there is a better defensive midfielder in the Prem than Rice, Bowen replied: “I don’t think so. I think you look at Dec and I think he’s getting spoken about more now because people are starting to realise what he does and what he’s about.

“And this season he has just gone from strength to strength and he’s got everything you need.”

Reports claim Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid all want to sign Rice.

On the transfer rumours, Bowen added: “I don’t see it as a distraction for Dec.

“I think it just goes to show the steps he’s made in the past probably two years since the Euros final. That Euros, Dec really shows what he’s about. I think people started to understand him a bit more and realise how good he is.

“I see it every day in training. I’ve seen how good he is, the Euros season and this season he’s really gone to another level.

“Of course I want to play with the best players. I want to play with Dec at my club and my country as well.”

Bowen joining Rice in the England squad shows the vast improvement he has achieved since joining West Ham.

The right winger will be hoping for a successful debut and international break to firmly get into Southgate’s plans.

He will need to have a good start to next season, too, if he wants to get into the World Cup squad.

Meanwhile, West Ham could land a Bologna defender for a bargain price this summer.