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Jurgen Klopp’s huge praise for “favourite player” Jarrod Bowen – future LFC target?

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Jurgen Klopp labelled West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen as his “favourite player” ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash, prompting speculation over a transfer.

Even in a game in which West Ham were dominated from start to finish, Bowen managed to get himself on the scoresheet.

With his side’s second of only two shots in the quarter-final at Anfield, the 27-year-old bent the ball round Caoimhin Kelleher to reduce the deficit.

It served as a mere consolation, with Liverpool winning 5-1 to set up a semi-final against Fulham, but it lifted Bowen’s tally to 12 goals and four assists in 22 games this season.

Though a natural right winger, he has done so while often operating up front this season, which has not gone unnoticed by Klopp.

Speaking to Sky Sports before kickoff, the Liverpool manager praised Bowen for his versatility – and went so far as to describe him as his “favourite player” outside of the current squad.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen (R) is challenged by Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Playing without Antonio, and Bowen steps up in that position – probably my favourite player besides my players,” Klopp said.

“It’s just great what he’s doing and how he develops.”

It is not the first time Klopp has singled Bowen out for praise, either, having done so twice before in pre-match press conferences.

In November 2021, he explained: “I like Bowen a lot.

“He made his way up from, was it Hull, if I’m right? And took not too long to get there, to show exactly what kind of player he can be in the Premier League as well, made big steps.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 24, 2023: West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen celebrates after scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The following March, Klopp continued: “Bowen, what a player he became, unbelievable!

“We saw him as well at Hull and he was really good that time, but I’m not sure a lot of people expected this jump.

“Unbelievable player.”

Liverpool were first touted with an interest in Bowen in the summer of 2021, though as Klopp noted, it would appear scouts have tracked the England international since his time at Hull.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 19, 2022: West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen sees his penalty kick saved during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Bowen is represented by the same agency as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, with Jordan Henderson, Nat Phillips and Liverpool youngsters Oakley Cannonier, Josh Davidson and Reece Trueman also clients of PLG.

Whether this long-held interest and public praise will pave the way for a move to Anfield in the future is unclear, though he would undoubtedly be on Klopp’s list of targets.

Much could depend on the future of Mohamed Salah, but it should be pointed out that it was only in October that Bowen signed a new seven-year contract at West Ham.