Alan Shearer shares how close Newcastle came to signing Jarrod Bowen
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Alan Shearer shares how close Newcastle came to signing Jarrod Bowen

Jarrod Bowen could have been a Newcastle United player right now if it wasn’t for Mike Ashley.

The 25-year-old has had a season to remember with West Ham, scoring 18 goals in all competitions. He also has an impressive 18 assists.

Bowen has been exceptional for the Hammers, and his form has won him his first ever England call-up. He’s set to be in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming Nations League fixtures.

The West Ham forward will have the chance to represent his country, and possibly play alongside Kieran Trippier. Now that’s the real honour.

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He’s been fantastic ever since his move from Hull to the London Stadium, and his performances will have left former Toon boss Steve Bruce wondering ‘what if’.

Newcastle nearly signed Jarrod Bowen when Steve Bruce was manager

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer appeared on the latest episode of the Athletic’s Pod On The Tyne. The group conducted a season review, and discussed the difficulties Bruce faced in the transfer market before his departure.

Shearer then pointed to a deal that Bruce had previously tried to complete as Newcastle manager.

“There’s a player in the England squad that’s been announced, Jarrod Bowen,” Shearer said.

“Steve had him. Steve had him ready to come to Newcastle and they didn’t do the deal. That’s what people don’t see or know what’s gone on behind the scenes.”

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Bowen is the one that got away for the Magpies

It’s unclear when Bruce had a deal lined up to sign Bowen. It has to be either the summer of 2019 or the January transfer window in 2020. The latter was when he joined West Ham on deadline day for £25million.

Newcastle were linked with Bowen in both windows, and fans were keen to see the then Hull winger move to St James’ Park.

He was a target shortly after Bruce’s arrival in 2019, but Newcastle reportedly refused to meet the Tigers’ £20million asking price. They were linked again in January, but the most Mike Ashley would offer was £12million.

It was well documented that Newcastle wouldn’t pay what Hull wanted for Bowen. It was typical of the club at that time. The manager was given a small budget by an owner who had no ambitions beyond Newcastle staying in the Premier League.

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However, it’s interesting to hear how close Bowen was to joining Newcastle. Shearer says he was ready to sign, only for the Magpies not to do the deal.

Given what he’s gone on to achieve at West Ham, Ashley and co made a seismic error.

While Bruce wasn’t popular among Newcastle fans, he was often fighting a losing battle with the ownership. He was the only public figure and felt the full brunt of the supporters.

Bruce had a great player ready to sign for Newcastle, but Ashley and co failed to deliver. Jarrod Bowen truly is the one that got away.

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