Almost 12 months ago, Nuno Espirito Santo was there to witness first hand how good Jarrod Bowen can be.
The former Hull City winger set West Ham United on their way to a 4-0 mauling of Nuno’s Wolverhampton Wanderers with a goal straight out of the Arjen Robben playbook.
Weaving through a forest of legs, Bowen cut on to his favoured left foot and feathered the most subtle of finishes into the bottom corner.
He then came close to doubling the Hammers’ lead with an ingenious, over-the-shoulder lob for Michail Antonio before doing the deed himself, reacting at the speed of light to tap home after a Pablo Fornals shot bounced back off the post.
“It was the perfect performance for us,” the £20 million winger said at full-time, via The Independent.
“Perfect” for West Ham. “Perfect” for Bowen.
“I prefer to come in on my left foot,” he added. “I saw the gap and thankfully it went in the far corner, so I was buzzing about it.
“Probably the only disappointment was I didn’t get a hat-trick!”
That insatiable appetite for goals should stand Bowen in good stead after a promising start to his second full season as a West Ham player.
Could Jarrod Bowen leave West Ham for rivals Spurs?
And, with the Independent reporting Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City have joined long-time admirers Liverpool in batting their eyelashes in Bowen’s direction, a Hammers side already fending off interest in talismanic midfielder Declan Rice could soon find themselves at the heart of another unwelcome transfer saga.
It goes without saying West Ham would be loathe to lose Bowen, not to Liverpool, not to Leicester and especially not to London rivals Spurs.
But Nuno Espirito Santo has a longer memory than most.
Seven months after that 4-0 thumping, Bowen would rip Wolves apart again, leading the line brilliantly in Michail Antonio’s injury-enforced absence and putting West Ham three goals up at Molineux with a stunning left-foot finish.
In just one season, Bowen scored three times past Wolves, the driving force behind a pair of crushing wins that ended with a 7-2 aggregate scoreline. No wonder Nuno wants him at Tottenham.
If you can’t beat them – or at least stop them – you may be better off signing them.