West Brom remain interested in AFC Bournemouth forward Joshua King, according to reports…
Sky Sports claim the 29-year-old is still being monitored by the Baggies over a potential move before the February 1st transfer deadline, though relegation rivals Burnley have entered the race alongside West Ham.
King is out of contract in the summer, so the next week presents a final opportunity for the Cherries to cash in on his signature before it is too late.
And Albion boss Sam Allardyce has made no secret of their interest in the Norway international, he told reporters: “No idea what the price may be (for King) – if the price is within our range then I think we would be interested, and if it’s out of our price range then we won’t.”
The Midlands outfit have been linked to plenty of strikers since the turn of the year, including former loan sensation Dwight Gayle.
Ahead of the January transfer window last month, ChronicleLive reported that the 29-year-old was someone on the club’s radar as his contract is also expiring at the end of the current campaign.
He bagged an impressive 24 goals in 40 appearances on their way to the Championship playoffs in 2018/19, and clearly, much of the Hawthorns faithful would welcome his return as Big Sam currently has one viable forward option.
Would take Gayle on a free all day long on a free in the Championship, and I’d put Grant on the left and Diangana on the right. #WBA
— Liam Jones (@liamjackjones) December 30, 2020
At this point I’d be going back to Newcastle and begging for Dwight Gayle btw #wba
— hannah 🏳️🌈 BLM (@Hannanar) January 9, 2021
All this blah-blah about Noo-castle – I would STILL have Dwight Gayle back. #wba
— Stig’s Baggie Cousin (@StigsWBACousin) January 19, 2021
Rumours that Dwight Gayle could return in January are heartening. He could make the difference between staying up or being relegated. A more solid central defender would not go amiss either. We’d be be more competitive with these additions at this level. #COYB #wba
— Woodman Corner Jake (@MPJKaiser) December 13, 2020
But given his history of injuries and lack of game time, it’s time to move on from the one-time hero – he’s played only 125 minutes this term, and has averaged only 35 minutes per appearance since his Baggies loan spell finished.
King could be available for a bargain price given his contract situation and the need to shift his £45k-per-week salary off a second-tier wage bill. His record in the top-flight has been remarkable, if not hugely underrated.
In terms of finishing, his most prolific season came in 2016/17 where he ended the year with 16 goals, though he’s hit six or more goals in all five of his seasons in the Premier League, per Transfermarkt.
That’s even despite being primarily deployed on the left flank. His work-rate is another key attribute that would please Big Sam as last season, he ranked 15th for possession won in the attacking third, winning 6.8 duels per 90 minutes, as per Sky Sports.
King was even clocked at just one km/h slower than the rapid Adama Traore (37.78 km/h), so he’s an absolute speed demon capable of tormenting the opposition’s defence.
It’s no wonder that former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe dubbed him the “complete package” because he’s “outstanding physically, technically and mentally,” to Match of the Day (via Football Faithful).
Even more recently, his successor Jason Tindall lauded King as a “real handful,” and joked that he would add “another £5million on his price tag” – that being in the region of £10m, from what The Athletic’s Tim Spiers has heard as he revealed to The Molineux View podcast on January 5th.
All of the above combine to make him a hugely attractive proposition for any top-flight team, but equally, one that the Baggies need as his versatility, work rate and prolific finishing capabilities could be enough to revive their survival hopes tenfold.
They currently sit second-from-bottom some six points from safety whilst Big Sam’s squad rank third-worst for goals scorer.
A striker is paramount to their chances of remaining a Premier League outfit and on the above evidence, King would be a wonderful solution.
AND in other news, West Brom could finally replace Chris Brunt by signing 42-cap powerhouse…