David Moyes is hoping Jarrod Bowen can make a similar impact at West Ham United to the one a young Tim Cahill did at his former club Everton.
Moyes signed a 24-year-old Cahill from second-tier Millwall in the summer of 2004 and he promptly settled in the Premier League, scoring two key winners in his first four appearances and completing his debut season as the Toffees’ top scorer with 12 goals.
The same as Cahill, Bowen was a prolific scorer at Championship level before his move to the top-flight, and director Moyes would love the 23-year-old to emulate the Australian.
“I can only go back and use my expertise,” said the boss, when asked if he believes Bowen is ready to begin against Southampton on Saturday, after making two appearances off the replacements’ bench. “I believe it took Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka and a couple of others six months until they could get in the group and become Premier League players who went on to become very, very great Premier League players. But others have come in very quickly like Tim Cahill, who I purchased from the Championship, who came in and began and did really well.
“I’ll evaluate Jarrod and I will see where he is at, but I need Jarrod to be in the long run. If we are signing a boy out of Hull and attempting to find a means for him to be the saviour to what we have got, then I believe that’s wrong.
“I think we have got to bring Jarrod into a part of the squad and part of the group, but what I will say is that he’s really impressed me at plenty of things he’s done and he’s looked really sharp.”
Another player expecting to earn a start against the Saints in London Stadium is Pablo Fornals, who scored after replacing the injured Tomas Soucek in Monday’s 3-2 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield.
“I was very delighted with his goal because it got us 2-1 up at Anfield and hardly any teams have got in that situation this year,” Moyes confirmed. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to maintain it.
“I believe Tomas, in the moment, is a big miss. Tomas is a miss since he’s come in and he’s hit the ground running immediately in his three or four matches in the Premier League. He has contributed in a different manner, so we’re disappointed we are going to miss him.”
While Bowen and Fornals may feature this weekend, the sport has come too soon for Andriy Yarmolenko and Jack Wilshere, but the set are edging closer to their individual returns from a thigh injury and hernia operation.
“Andriy played 60 minutes at a practice match the other day,” Moyes revealed. “He is still feeling his thigh a little bit so he is not connected in with the first team yet, but he is getting closer.
“Jack Wilshere has begun doing some work on the grass after his surgery, so they are both getting back closer to fitness but, in exactly the same breath, still just a little bit away. I’d hope he’ll play again this year. I hope he’ll get himself fit and in a state to do so, but I could not guarantee that.”