Everton are reportedly keen to pursue a move for Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong in the summer transfer market, which in turn could mean that Joshua King’s time at Goodison Park could be short-lived.
According to The Sun, Armstrong is hot-property at Ewood Park with several Premier League sides thought to be eying a swoop for the 23-year-old at the end of the season.
Everton, along with West Ham United and Fulham, are all monitoring the forward’s situation after a sublime start to the campaign has seen the former Newcastle United reject hit 18 goals and provide three assists across all competitions.
David Moyes had weighed up a swoop in the winter market to replace Sebastien Haller at the London Stadium, but decided to instead to instruct the Irons’ scouting team to continue checking if the former England U21 international is worth the £10m+ that Rovers demand.
Blackburn are expected to cash-in on Armstrong’s sensational season should they fail to secure promotion into the Premier League, with Tony Mowbray’s side currently six points outside of the Championship Play-Off places but with a game in hand.
Everton and Fulham currently only see Armstrong as a potential squad player in Carlo Ancelotti or Scott Parker’s sides, while Moyes considered an £8m offer last month with Michail Antonio currently West Ham’s only senior striker.
But the Toffees may be in the market for a centre-forward in the off-season with Moise Kean open to a permanent switch to loan side Paris Saint-Germain and Deadline Day arrival King only signed to a short-term deal.
Only Brentford ace Ivan Toney (22) has scored more often in the second-tier this term than Armstrong (17) and his impressive season comes after the Magpies product hit home 16 in 46 league outings in the prolonged 2019/20 campaign.
Everton should certainly weigh up a move for Armstrong, as the Blackburn striker is now showing that he can be a persist goal threat in consecutive seasons and could be the next Championship graduate to follow in the footsteps of Neal Maupay, Ollie Watkins and Che Adams.
At around £10m, Armstrong could prove to be a bargain, as well, as Watkins set Aston Villa back a club-record £28m rising to £33m last summer, after fees rose significantly from the £16m Brighton and Hove Albion paid Brentford for Maupay and £15m that Adams cost Southampton in 2019.
But Everton considering a summer swoop for Armstrong offers more immediate thoughts on King’s future at Goodison Park, with him having joined the Blues on Deadline Day on a short-term deal that carries a view to a longer-term contract at the end of the season.
While Armstrong has been scoring freely in the second-tier this term, King – who Eddie Howe lauded as the “complete package” – departed AFC Bournemouth having not scored a league goal for the Cherries since their relegation last season.
The 29-year-old had found the back of the net in the FA Cup, but all three of his strikes came against League Two opposition. He has since also only played 12 minutes in two fixtures for Everton, with Ancelotti not calling on the Norway international until the closing stages of Saturday’s draw with Manchester United.
Everton had fought back from two goals down to pull level at Old Trafford, but it was not until 11 minutes after Scott McTominay restored the Red Devils’ lead that King was introduced. Ancelotti instead backed Alex Iwobi to make an instant impact from the bench.
If King’s time on Merseyside continues like that over the coming months, Armstrong may not be the only striker Everton are scouting.