Carlo Ancelotti must unleash Joshua King against Fulham on Sunday after the striker stated he would “love to stay” at Everton beyond the end of the season.
While speaking with the Blues’ matchday programme, King admitted that he accepts a long-term deal must work for all sides after joining the club on a short-term contract on Deadline Day.
The Goodison Park outfit fought off competition from Fulham to sign King, who was due to become a free agent at the end of the season after five-and-a-half-years at the Vitality Stadium.
King is yet to start a fixture for Everton having made each of his two Premier League outings thus far from the bench, and was cup-tied for Wednesday night’s 5-4 extra-time win over Tottenham Hotspur.
“This squad and club are reaching and climbing and building something,” he said. “I am eager to prove myself and to try to give the boss a reason to pick me.
“I feel ready and this week of training will do me good. I am focusing on working hard and trying to reach my top form as quickly as possible.
“Then we will see what happens in the summer. I am loving it and, of course, would love to stay but it has to be right for the club and for me.”
With Calvert-Lewin missing for Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Fulham, Ancelotti must unleash King for his first start in Everton colours.
King has only featured for 12 minutes over two brief cameo outings against Leeds and Manchester United so far, but has a proven record for scoring in the top-flight after hitting home 48 goals in 163 games for Bournemouth.
Twice he enjoyed 10-plus goals in a single season with a 16-goal haul in 2016/17 and a 12-goal haul in 2018/19, while enjoying his most creative campaign last term with four assists.
Ancelotti should now lean on King, who former Cherries boss Eddie Howe praised for being “outstanding physically, technically and mentally”, as his experience, ability and record will be enough to cause Fulham problems.
The Italian’s only real alternative would be to field Richarlison up front on his own but while the Brazilian scored twice against Tottenham in midweek, has failed to find the back of the net once when fielded as a centre-forward this term.
Richarlison also scored all six of his goals from central positions under Ancelotti last season when playing beside Calvert-Lewin, having been unable to lead the line on his own.