AFC Bournemouth forward Joshua King showed David Moyes what West Ham United are missing in just 13 touches against Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night.
King entered the action at the Vitality Stadium as a late substitute to replace Dominic Solanke as boss Jason Tindall sought to see out a 1-0 win to solidify the Cherries’ place in the automatic promotion places.
Bournemouth have been in top form since their return to the Championship with 10 wins in 19 games, but are yet to see the best from King who remains without a goal or an assist after playing just 347 minutes in a heavily disrupted campaign.
King missed the start of the season through a thigh injury and later tested positive for coronavirus, before sustaining a back injury in training that kept the Norway forward out of action until Tuesday’s meeting with Wycombe.
West Ham had strived to sign King in the summer under the instructions of Moyes but failed to seal a deal, with Bournemouth rejecting the Irons’ offer of £13million as they chased at least £17m for the 51-cap international.
Moyes has remained keen on the idea of working with King at the London Stadium ever since, with reports surfacing lately claiming the Hammers boss has stressed the importance of offensive additions after marking the 28-year-old as his top January target.
Irons chiefs are confident Bournemouth will be more inclined to accept a lower sum in January with King’s £45,000-per-week contract due to expire in the summer, and would have seen what sort of impact the former Manchester United trainee could bring to the club in his brief cameo during the week.
He may not have scored or assisted with Junior Stanislas’ 68th-minute strike all that separated promotion-chasing Bournemouth and their relegation-threatened opposition, but King impressed in his limited window of opportunity.
Only Diego Rico (15) took more touches than King (13) following Tindall’s late triple substitution, per WhoScored, while being the only Cherries player to record a 100% pass success rate with each of his seven passes finding a teammate.
King was additionally the only Bournemouth player to register a key ball, successful dribble or aerial duel won in the closing stages, while Wycombe piled on late pressure with Daryl Horgan and Fred Onyedinma doing their best to inspire a comeback.
Moyes would no doubt have been impressed by what King brought to the field at the Vitality Stadium on Tuesday night, despite only playing the final nine minutes.