West Ham need to hang on to Jarrod Bowen as the striker does not have the right skillset to play for one of the top four clubs, according to former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr.
Bowen has had a great season with the Hammers. While he has not won the headlines the likes of Declan Rice has received in recent weeks, Bowen's performances have been good enough to link him with a possible move to Liverpool.
However, Kerr does not believe that West Ham selling either Rice or Bowen to a bigger club is the right thing for the players or the club.
Speaking after performing commentary duties for Off The Ball on West Ham's draw with Manchester City, Kerr explained why he feels West Ham should resist the urge to sell their best players.
"West Ham have to be getting to the stage where they become a club [that can keep players]," Kerr said. "That was the whole idea of them moving to the new stadium was that they were going to be able to get much bigger crowds.
"They are filling it regularly and there seems to be a waiting list for season tickets, which is absolutely phenomenal. They are generating an awful lot more money.
"Their ambition has to be of getting into that higher level of London clubs who have been successful in the past."
For Kerr, West Ham have the potential to become a club that can compete at the top level, and in doing so, keep their best players happy.
"West Ham needs to become one of those clubs that are buying players at that level and pay those wages," Kerr said. "Resist the idea of being a sell-on club, because they have got a good player.
"It is going to be very hard for them to get into that level, because every player has a price. Unless they are seen to be competing in the Champions League or winning trophies, the exceptional players they have will be wanting to play for clubs who are at that level.
"That is the challenge for West Ham as a club, not David Moyes as a manager."
Bowen might not be ready for the top clubs
While Kerr agrees that Bowen has had a great year, he is not as convinced that a club like Liverpool would be the right move for the West Ham forward.
"Would a real top club sign Jarrod Bowen?" Kerr said. "I'm not so sure yet. I think he's had a very good season but a lot of his goals are counter-attacking goals.
"It is different if you play for a team like Liverpool, Chelsea, or maybe Arsenal to a degree... the teams that dominate possession.
"You have to be a very technical player to play a part in that style of game. It is often about breaking down fairly mass defences.
"Jarrod Bowen's skills are about pace on the counter, running with the ball, being direct. [He has] good dribbling skills, but not fantastic tight control.
"I think he has emerged as a very good player in the league this year, but I don't know whether he is going to make it to the very top."
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