If Dean Smith was watching Norway’s clash against Serbia on Thursday night, then he would have left with some serious doubts about a rumoured transfer target for Aston Villa.
Reports in recent weeks have claimed that Bournemouth striker Josh King remains of interest to the Midlands club, and with Premier League clubs able to do deals with those in the EFL until the deadline of October 16, a transfer for the 28-year-old is a big possibility.
Whilst the Cherries ace has plenty of Premier League experience and could absolutely offer Ollie Watkins some competition up front, Smith may have been developing second thoughts after Thursday.
One performance certainly doesn’t make a bad player – or good for that instance – but in a crunch game for his country, with hopes of qualification for next summer’s European Championship on the line, he completely fluffed his lines.
King was brought on mid-way through the second-half of the tie, and with the game going all the way to extra-time, he had plenty of minutes to really inspire his side to victory.
Instead, he was more of a hindrance for Norway, delivering the kind of anonymous display that ended up seeing Serbia nick a 2-1 win by the end of the match.
As per SofaScore, he made just 11 successful passes after coming on, registering only 28 touches in his time on the pitch – to put that into context, Norway goalkeeper Rune Jarstein managed 46 touches.
King had just one shot on goal, missed his target with both of his attempted crosses, and lost possession 12 times too.
With just days left before the transfer deadline, the Bournemouth striker had the perfect chance to really showcase his talents. Instead, he failed his Villa audition miserably, and his disappearance in a crucial game for his country, may have sent Smith running.