West Ham ace Jarrod Bowen spoke exclusively to Sky Sports, and claimed that he has to ice his ankle all the time after training with Fabian Balbuena.
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The 23-year-old joined the Hammers from Hull City on transfer deadline day in January for around £22 million (The Daily Mail).
And the lively attacker has settled in very quickly at the London Stadium.
Bowen spoke to Sky Sports, and responded when asked to name the hardest player at West Ham:
“Declan Rice is pretty hard! He gets stuck in and doesn’t take any. When him and Nobes are on the same team, they don’t hold back in training. They fly into challenges. They aren’t bothered. Fabian Balbuena too. I’ve been training with him for three months now and the amount of times I’ve had to ice my ankle after because he’s clawed at my ankle. We hit knee to knee once and he blamed me. So, for hard man, Dec and Nobes get stuck in, and Fabian just kicks you and laughs about it!”
The Balbuena joined the Hammers from Brazilian side Corinthians in the summer of 2018 for around £3.5 million (Evening Standard).
Poor campaign thus far for defender
The 28-year-old actually impressed during his debut campaign in east London. But his performance levels have dropped dramatically this term.
His lack of pace and mobility is a real concern. And the Paraguayan has often been found wanting this season.
The centre-back has made 13 Premier League appearances for West Ham this season. He has made just 16 tackles, with a success rate of 69%. Balbuena has made only 25 interceptions and has made two errors leading to goals for the opposition (premierleague.com).
It’s good that Balbuena takes training so seriously. But perhaps he should take it a little easier.
The last thing David Moyes will want is for Bowen to pick up a needless injury.
That really would spell disaster for West Ham if and when Premier League football eventually does resume.