According to reports in the Sun on Sunday on September 24, Everton are lining up a move for Bournemouth attacker Josh King as their search for the new Romelu Lukaku will continue into the January transfer window.
The Toffees sold the Belgium international – who had scored 87 goals in 166 appearances in all competitions for the club before his move to Manchester United during the summer – in July, but despite having almost two months to find a direct replacement the Merseyside outfit failed to do so.
While Sandro Ramirez and Wayne Rooney did arrive at Goodison Park, Ronald Koeman didn’t get the extra centre-forward in that he wanted and his team paid for that failure in the transfer market in the opening weeks of the season.
Four straight defeats in all competitions without scoring against Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Atalanta and Manchester United forced the Dutchman to bring Oumar Niasse – who he had previously told he was surplus to requirements in 2016 – back into the fold for the EFL Cup tie against Sunderland.
Having scored the third goal in the 3-0 win against the Black Cats and then a brace in the 2-1 win against Bournemouth at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday, the Everton faithful may have felt that they had finally found their Lukaku replacement.
However, the Sun on Sunday says that Niasse is still free to leave the club in the New Year, with Koeman actively searching for a new striker.
The link with King is not too surprising after he enjoyed a prolific campaign with the Cherries last time out, but in other ways it certainly is.
While the 25-year-old did score an impressive 16 goals in 36 Premier League outings for Eddie Howe’s men last term, it was certainly an anomaly year if the Norway international’s career is anything to go by.
King has only netted 29 times in 166 total appearances during his career and with more than half of those coming in one season, it is far from an impressive record.
The fact that he has scored just once – at Goodison Park on Saturday – in 529 top flight minutes during the current campaign would perhaps suggest that his previous form was a flash in the pan, although the south coast have been struggling to get results as a team.
In the grand scheme of things though, Everton need guaranteed goals from their new man if they are to push up the Premier League and compete in Europe, and King simply doesn’t offer that.
Another problem for the Merseyside outfit in their pursuit of the attacker would be the fact that he only signed a new four-year deal at the Vitality Stadium last month, and with some of the ridiculous transfer fees we have seen already in 2017 Bournemouth don’t need to sell and can demand a ridiculous amount for the forward.
Koeman and Everton would surely be able to get better value elsewhere on a player that has scored far more goals than King has during his career, even if they have to scour Europe.
According to Squawka, while Lukaku and King had a similar success rate when it came to completing take-ons the attempted in the Premier League last season, Lukaku won 128 aerial duels compared to just 32 for King, and it would suggest that the Norwegian would struggle in the air if he was played up top for the Toffees.
While it is pretty clear that Everton need to sign a new striker during the January transfer window, there are many reasons why they should steer clear of King and instead use their money elsewhere.