David Moyes is considering converting Jarrod Bowen into an out-and-out striker following his latest goal for West Ham.

Bowen had fired the Hammers into the lead early in the second half at Bournemouth with a spectacular curler from the edge of the box.

But Moyes’ side were denied an opening-day win when Dominic Solanke rounded Alphonse Areola to snatch a 1-1 draw with eight minutes remaining.

Bowen’s last kick of last season was the late goal which secured the Europa Conference League trophy against Fiorentina in Prague, 66 days ago.

This time he collected the ball off Tomas Soucek 20 yards out, cut onto his left foot and buried a superb, curling effort beyond the dive of Neto.

“It was a brilliant goal,” said Moyes, who previously successfully turned Marko Arnautovic from winger to striker at West Ham.

“Jarrod is becoming our major goalscorer. There’s a lot of talk about needing to buy a centre-forward but I’m going to see if Jarrod could do the job.

“He’s got the instincts and the sharpness. Hull played him at centre-forward so it’s not me trying to be a genius.”

West Ham were pegged back when Antoine Semenyo’s wayward shot fell at the feet of Solanke, who showed tremendous composure to slip the ball around Areola and tap into an empty net.

“The goal was really scruffy,” added Moyes. “I don’t know if the boy is crossing or shooting, it clipped Tomas Soucek’s heel and was bad fortune for us, but we probably brought it on ourselves.”

Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta put in an eye-catching display in a deep-lying midfield role, showing glimpses of why Manchester City made an approach to sign him.

Moyes, who has already lost Declan Rice this summer, does not want another of his best players to leave but is realistic enough to know he might not be able to stop him.

“There’s a price on everyone’s head somewhere,” he said. “We don’t want Lucas to go, it’s as simple as that. But sometimes it’s difficult to say to these boys you can’t join Manchester City, or Real Madrid, the biggest clubs in the world.

“We’ve had a bit of news on Lucas but we’ve had nothing that’s made us wobble.”

Bournemouth’s new boss Andoni Iraola enjoyed his first taste of Premier League football.

“It’s a good point, we wanted three,” said the Spaniard. “We were better at the end of both halves.

“After tying the game the momentum was with us and we finished better, but it was one point.

“We improved after the first half and second half we were a bit more direct. We have to improve, this was the first game of the season. We have to grow from this starting point.”

Jarrod Bowen knows exactly what winning a trophy would mean to West Ham fans – he only has to ask his partner’s father Danny Dyer.

The Hammers will bid to reach a first European final in 47 years when they take on Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League semi-final.

Former Eastenders hardman Dyer is a huge West Ham supporter and Bowen revealed he has been left in little doubt about the significance of Thursday night’s first leg at the London Stadium.

Bowen, who is expecting twins with Dyer’s daughter Dani, said: “It’s massive.

“I’ve only been here three years but I feel a massive part of this club. I feel like a fan, almost, as well. I know how much it means to the fans and I’m one of them who wants to give them that success.

“The missus’ old man is obviously on me every week. But for everyone, the whole club, it’s not been a great season but staying in the Premier League is the main aim and bringing the trophy home for the fans would be a good end to a bad season.”

Europe has been the one bright spot in a tough season for West Ham, although they took a huge step towards securing their Premier League safety with a 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday.

“That result was obviously massive for this club so going into tomorrow night it’s given us a lot of confidence,” added winger Bowen.


“We can use it as a kind of springboard to help us. We know it’s going to be a difficult game.

“They’re a really good side and it’s a European semi-final. We’re at home first so we can use that to our advantage with our fans and the atmosphere I know they’re going to create.”

Last season, West Ham were on their last legs when they reached the Europa League semi-finals, losing over two legs to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt.

This term, manager David Moyes feels they may just be peaking at the right time.

“I remember Sir Alex Ferguson always used to talk about that this was the time of year where you had to be at your best,” said the former Manchester United and Everton boss.

“It tends to be now that games are really important; semi-finals, finals, league games you have to win. Having your best form at this time of the season is always important.

“I do believe that we’re playing some of our best stuff just now. I think we can still get much better and I’m hoping we’re going to show that in the coming games.”

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