According to The Standard, West Ham United manager David Moyes has taken the decision to leave Jarrod Bowen behind in England ahead of the Hammers’ clash with Backa Topola.
West Ham are making the trip to Serbia for their penultimate group-stage clash in the Europa League on Thursday night and a victory tomorrow night will confirm the side’s progression to the knock-out stages of the competition.
Moyes has a real task on his hands to control and find balance in the rotation of his players to ensure that the Hammers can comfortably compete across the Premier League and domestic competitions alongside the Europa League, without congested fixtures plaguing fitness and availability.
There have been some testing times for the East London outfit with Michail Antonio, Nayef Aguerd and Bowen all unavailable for selection in recent weeks and the Scottish manager even claimed “it is a bit like a doctor’s surgery at the moment” in his press conference at the weekend.
Now it has been revealed by The Standard that Bowen has not been involved in the travelling squad to face Backa Topola and will instead continue to build up his fitness back in England with the view that he could be ready to return for West Ham’s top-flight clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Will Bowen return vs Crystal Palace?
Resting Bowen for the meeting in Serbia seems like the wisest option for Moyes considering the congested fixture schedule ahead and any opportunity to give the winger extra rest should be taken.
The 26-year-old talisman has been crucial to West Ham since his arrival and this season has been no different with nine goals and two assists in all competitions so far.
There will be a lot of optimism that his absence on the European stage will see Bowen back in the attacking threat when the Irons return to action in London at the weekend, and surely supporters will be glad he has been given the freedom to recover fully over the next few days.
With that being said, it remains to be seen as to whether Bowen will be back in the starting eleven at the weekend, but Moyes’ pre-match press conference will likely reveal a better understand of his recovery timeline.