Bournemouth forward and long-term NUFC target Joshua King has hinted that he could leave the Cherries this summer after growing frustrated by Eddie Howe’s inability to play him in his favoured position – up front.
The 26-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2016/17, scoring 16 Premier League goals, however he only managed 8 league goals last season from the number 10 role – a position he clearly feels doesn’t play to his strengths.
The Chronicle have since revealed that King is a player Benitez was keen on last summer, suggesting the gaffer will have been alerted by his latest comments here.
Speaking to Norwegian outlet VG, here’s what the he’s had to say when opening up about his frustrations at Bournemouth:
“I don’t like to make excuses but I have to say that I was surprised that I returned in pre-season and was switched to a deeper position than the one I did so well in the year before.
“I’m not happy and my manager knows that.
“I have talked to the boss and told him that I don’t like this role, but what is said between us stays in that room. It’s not a secret that I don’t like it.
“I’m a striker and that’s where I’m at my best.
“People might say I’m selfish complaining when I play regularly but the numbers speak for themselves.
“I’m best as a striker. If you look at me as a player, I think nobody would say that I’m a No.10.
“I have three years left on my contract at Bournemouth, but in football you never know.
“I just want to play in my best position. Why change something that worked so well? I don’t know, and maybe it’s been playing on my mind all season.”
He’s a player that would definitely give us something different up top, having an explosive blend of pace and power, however I’m not sure he’s the answer if we’re looking for a proven goalscorer.
Yes he bagged an impressive 16 goals last season, but he scored just 14 goals in his two Premier League seasons either side of that – not forgetting the fact he’s not come cheap at all being 26 and with three years left on his deal at Bournemouth.
If he was one of two good strikers signed this summer I’d be open to the idea of it, but I’m not sure Josh King is the answer to all our goalscoring problems.