Marcel Brands should urge Carlo Ancelotti to tread cautiously amid rumoured plans to hand Joshua King a long-term contract at Everton.
According to Football Insider, the Toffees will look to retain King beyond the initial six-month deal penned upon his arrival as a latch-ditch signing on Deadline Day last month.
Everton are claimed to have paid AFC Bournemouth £2m to take over the final stretch of his £45,000-per-week contract, as the Cherries sought to secure a nominal fee for a player who would otherwise have been a free agent in the summer.
King’s long-term future remains in doubt having only joined the Blues on a short-term deal, though the Merseyside outfit have long been claimed to have an option to retain the Norway international.
Retaining King could see Everton’s deal with Bournemouth rise to as much as £5m, and that is under consideration as he’s been impressing coaches – including Ancelotti – at Finch Farm.
King is yet to start a fixture or score for Everton, but has made five substitute outings and has featured for a total of 67 minutes over his Premier League appearances to date.
Having Ancelotti’s backing after leaving a favourable impression on the Italian tactician and his coaching staff will go a long way toward King securing a long-term future at Everton.
Ancelotti stated upon the forward’s arrival that he hoped the Blues would keep the 29-year-old beyond the end of the season, but noted that his time at Goodison Park was effectively a loan deal and a chance to impress after Cenk Tosun joined Besiktas in a temporary switch.
King, too, voiced hope of a long life in royal blue having enjoyed his first few weeks on Merseyside, even though chances to feature have been thin and far between.
“This squad and club are reaching and climbing and building something,” he said last month. “I am eager to prove myself and to try to give the boss a reason to pick me.
“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.”
But as chances to feature have been so infrequent thus far, even while Ancelotti was without Everton’s top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin due to a hamstring injury, Brands should urge caution and not rush into tying King down with a long-term deal so soon.
The £10m-rated dynamo, who former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe lauded as the “complete package”, is yet to prove himself on the pitch, and it is there – rather than in training – where King must show that he deserves a long-term contract.
Currently, he is yet to bring much to the table when on the field and he needs to prove why he deserves to be retained by netting goals and/or providing assists in the coming months.
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