Jarrod Bowen’s form for West Ham deserves to be recognised by Gareth Southgate with an England call-up, according to Hammers boss David Moyes.
Bowen has been on the cusp of a Three Lions spot in both of the last two international windows and Moyes believes now is the time his player should receive his first international call.
The West Ham manager has also said that young defender Ben Johnson should be selected for the U21 team with the right-back having impressed in the absence of Vladimir Coufal.
Southgate names his senior England squad for the upcoming internationals at 2pm on Thursday – Declan Rice is certain to be in the squad but Bowen faces a tough battle for a place in what Moyes described as the ‘biggest competition for places’ in the Three Lions set-up.
“Jarrod I believe has been knocking at the door for England but I also realise the quality England have got in wide areas; [Jadon] Sancho, [Mason] Greenwood, [Marcus] Rashford, [Raheem] Sterling,” said Moyes.
“The players England have got in those areas is the biggest competition England have got, that part of the field. It would be good if we could keep Jarrod going because I always get a big thrill if I can get my players international games. It would be good if we could get Jarrod a cap.”
Johnson has usurped Ryan Fredericks as West Ham’s replacement right-back and Moyes is thrilled with his form and his versatility. The manager believes his performances deserve a spot in the U21 squad for their upcoming UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers.
“I think that Ben has shown big improvement and at the level he’s at, being involved in European football quite regularly will give him a platform to show exactly what he can do,” the manager said. “I hope Ben does [get selected] and it would be good if he got a call-up.”
Moyes did not hold back in his praise for the young defender following his fine recent performances.
“I’m really pleased for Ben. He’s a bit of utility player for us, he’s been here for a while. He’s a really important player for us,” Moyes added.
“In the squad and the group he’s really important. Quite often we’ve brought him on and used him in different roles and he’s had a chance to have some games under his belt, he’s not let us down and scored a good goal on the weekend.
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“It’s good because it’s competition for Vladimir, and I’ve got Ryan Fredericks as well. I think at the moment Ben has done really, really well and stepped in at a period where we didn’t have either of the other two right-backs available. He’s done as well as anybody.”
Despite his versatility, Moyes confirmed he sees Johnson as primarily a right-back but appreciates the options he offers.
“He is a right-back and that’s what I think he will be.” Moyes said. “Can he play left back for us? Yeah, because he’s competent with both feet so he could help me out if I need that role done as well. But overall, right-back.”