During an interview with Football Insider, Kevin Phillips has urged Joshua King to join Leeds United this summer. The Bournemouth forward has been linked with several top clubs across England, including Tottenham Hotspur. Phillips, however, believes that he should move to a club, which can provide him with regular game-time.
Phillips told Football Insider, “Very exciting player but I am unsure whether he would be happy playing second-fiddle to Harry Kane. He may not play very often. King needs to go somewhere where he will play often – Leeds springs to mind.”
Joshua King’s success at Bournemouth
King joined Bournemouth in 2015, in a free transfer from Blackburn. Since then, he has been able to gradually make himself one of the most household names not just in the club but also in the Premier League. In fact, the Norwegian makes a strong case for being one of the most underappreciated attackers in the league.
Indeed, King has already made 163 appearances for Bournemouth, scoring 48 goals while registering 15 assists. Especially in recent years; the attacker has built a formidable partnership with the likes of Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser, effectively helping Bournemouth maintaining their status as a Premier League club.
What can he bring to the table?
A centre forward by trade, King primarily likes to operate as a secondary striker, just behind Wilson in the number ten slot. He is known for his spatial awareness and intelligent movements, thus allowing him to create more space for his teammates. Also, the 28-year-old has exquisite footwork, enabling him to not only drift past opposing defenders but also to nestle through tight spaces.
King has most notably averaged 1.2 key passes while winning 2.2 successful dribbles per game. Meanwhile, he is also decent in the air, having won almost 50% aerial duels.
Is King a viable target for Leeds United?
The arrival of King could create some complications for Marcelo Bielsa in the attacking department. Despite having a lot of experience at the highest level of football, the Bournemouth star is not a goalscoring forward. His work-rate and technical prowess thus make him quite similar to Patrick Bamford.
On the other hand, the Whites require someone who can guarantee goals next season. They already have Jean-Kevin Augustin, but it remains to be seen whether or not the Frenchman will be able to deliver the goods, especially after a rusty start to his Leeds career. But one thing is for sure, King is not an ideal tactical signing for Bielsa, and the club must set their sights on other alternatives if they are to solve their attacking problems next season.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored