Crystal Palace must swoop for former Everton and Bournemouth striker Josh King this summer.
What’s the story?
It has been confirmed that the 29-year-old will leave the Toffees on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of June following a disappointing six-month spell on Merseyside.
King failed to score in any of his 11 appearances after joining the Goodison Park outfit and is now able to talk to other clubs ahead of a possible move, having been linked with the Eagles last October only for a move to not materialise.
Imagine him and Zaha
With several players expected to depart Palace over the coming months, who chairman Steve Parish brings in to replace them could be key to the club’s fortunes next season. Key players such as Andros Townsend, Gary Cahill and Patrick van Aanholt are all heading for the exit door at this moment in time, so the Eagles’ recruitment will be vital to their future success.
Budgets are expected to be tight at all clubs this summer as the financial impact of the ongoing pandemic continues to cause problems, adding greater significance to bargain deals and thrifty purchases.
Picking up an experienced Premier League player on a free transfer would certainly come into that category, and acquiring King’s signature would represent a good piece of business for Palace as Parish oversees a significant squad rebuild.
The Norway international has an impressive record in the Premier League, bagging 48 goals and providing 15 assists in 172 top-flight appearances throughout his career, highlighting the quality he would bring to the capital club. Eddie Howe, his former manager at Bournemouth, hailed him as “the complete package” after a two-goal display against Newcastle in March 2019.
Although Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha has made his familiar statement outlining his desire to leave his boyhood club, the reality is that the Ivory Coast international is likely to remain in south London for at least another 12 months.
It could provide the hugely talented star enough time to build up a deadly rapport with King should the latter arrive this summer and fire Selhurst Park outfit to greater heights as they transition into the post-Roy Hodgson era.
At Bournemouth, King was at his scintillating best when he built relationships with Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser. The prospect of the £45,000-per-week Norwegian developing a similar connection with Zaha is surely enough to get any Palace fan excited.