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Bournemouth forward Joshua King has been making a lot of waves of late. The 25-year old Norwegian has been in piping hot form for the Cherries since the turn of the year and as a result, he has attracted interest from several quarters.
At first, it was Premier League runners-up Tottenham Hotspur who were credited with serious interest as per reports in the Daily Mail. And now according to Northern Echo, EFL Championship title winners and newly promoted Newcastle United are reportedly monitoring King, with a summer move on the cards.
Newcastle United earned promotion back to the English top-flight in their first attempt since getting relegated and they did so in style, winning the Championship title on the final day in a dramatic fashion. While they may have had the best squad in the second tier, there are few doubts about the Magpies needing to add more quality to their side if they are to put up a strong fight upon their return to the Premier League. It seems like King is on top of the shopping list for manager Rafael Benitez.
The former Manchester United academy man has had a great season with the Cherries and has been the primary reason for them occupying 10th place in the league table. King, this term, has managed to score 16 goals in the Premier League, which have been directly responsible for Bournemouth earning 12 points. The fact that only Diego Costa with 15 points and Sergio Aguero with 13 points have managed to better King’s stat tells us the kind of form he has been in for Eddie Howe’s side.
Thirteen of his 16 league goals have come since the turn of the year and King has shown the pedigree and the hunger to do well against the bigger teams, having scored against the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and former club Manchester United not very long ago.
King has the pace and the power to lead the line all by himself and is equally comfortable playing with a strike partner as he’s done this season with Benik Afobe. The fact that he can play out wide as well, makes him an excellent option to have in the ranks.
While Tottenham seems to be the ideal destination on surface, with Champions League football on offer and a chance to challenge for the title, it should not be forgotten that King will always be behind Harry Kane in the pecking order at the North London club. He will have to compete with Vincent Janssen for the second striker spot. On the other hand, at Newcastle, he will be a direct competitor to Dwight Gayle and considering King’s recent form, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him become the number one choice at the St. James’ Park.
Bournemouth will be under no pressure to sell him considering that they are a stable Premier League outfit competing for a top-half finish. But Newcastle did manage to get Matt Ritchie from the Cherries last summer and the Scottish international has prospered under Benitez – something that King might consider.
At 25, he is yet to reach his peak and fits the profile of the players that Newcastle usually sign – young, proven in the top division and arriving at a reasonable price.
It’ll be hard for the Tyneside outfit to find an able and a proven striker in the Premier League like the Norwegian. King has all the necessary traits needed to become a formidable weapon for Newcastle upon their return to the big league and if signed, he could turn out to be the marquee signing for Newcastle United.