Everton close in on Joshua King, who scored 53 goals in 184 appearances for Bournemouth and would leave as the club's record Premier League scorer; Cherries are closing in on a deal to replace King with loan signing of Southampton striker Shane Long
Tuesday 2 February 2021 01:05, UK
Everton are expected to sign Joshua King after agreeing a late Deadline Day deal for the Bournemouth striker.
The Cherries verbally agreed deals with the Toffees as well as Fulham for the 29-year-old striker, who was understood to be considering his options on Monday night.
King's contract with Bournemouth is set to expire at the end of the season, but after a month of speculation linking him with various Premier League clubs, his five-and-a-half-years on the south coast look to be coming to an end.
Everton are understood to have offered King a six-month contract, leaving him with the option of signing an extension or becoming a free agent at the end of the season.
King was also considering a proposal from Fulham on Monday night, although the Cottagers are close to completing the signing of Bordeaux striker Josh Maja on an initial loan with option to buy.
Bournemouth, who would rather cash in on King now than lose him for free in the summer, are closing in on the signing of a replacement striker on loan, believed to be Southampton's Shane Long - who has been allowed to leave as the club close in on the loan signing of Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino.
The Norway international, who has scored 53 goals in 184 appearances for the Cherries and is the club's record scorer in the Premier League, has failed to find the net in 12 Sky Bet Championship appearances this season.
King has long been linked with a move away from the Vitality Stadium, even before Bournemouth were relegated from the Premier League last summer, with his former club Manchester United seeing a £20m bid rejected last January.
It was thought that four of the Premier League big six wanted his signature after the Cherries suffered relegation to the Championship on the final day of the 2019/20 season following five seasons in the top flight.
West Ham, meanwhile, saw a £13m bid for King rejected by Bournemouth in October and West Brom made no secret of their interest in him either, with Sam Allardyce previously admitting the Baggies would look to sign King in January if the price was right.
Burnley were also believed to be interested in bringing in King this month.
By Sky Sports' Adam Smith...
King has struggled for goals this season and has been in and out of the Bournemouth team due to uncertainly around his future on the south coast.
He netted six times in the Premier League last term, but that return came from just 13 shots on target in 24 starts.
In terms of finishing, King's most prolific league season came in 2016/17 with 16 goals, hitting double figures for the first time in his career, and he achieved that feat again with 12 in 2018/19.
Despite playing primarily as a wide forward at a bottom-half club, he has achieved a clinical edge across his five seasons, for scoring (0.27-0.53 per 90), conversion (11-24 per cent) and shooting accuracy (43-61 per cent).
King's strength is carrying the ball into dangerous areas, ranking 16th in the Premier League for dribbles attempted per 90 in 2019/20, while his regular bursts of pace pose a constant threat for opposition defences.
Last season, his top speed of 36.67 km/h was a whisker off the 37.78 km/h achieved by Wolves speedster Adama Traore, while few players surpass his 12.2 sprints per 90.
Indeed, clubs chasing King are likely to find his versatility appealing, having played in every conceivable attacking role last term: left, right and centre.
His defensive stats also impress, with 6.8 duels won per 90, with the majority of this action occurring down the left flank in the middle third - a perfect area for transitional fast breaks.
King also ranked 15th in the league for possessions won in the attacking third (9.4 per 90) - revealing he would help to press from the front.
The stats highlight King's consistency, ball-carrying skills, defensive qualities, clinical finishing and unique versatility. Coupled with his top-flight experience and previous contract status, it is no wonder he attracted interest.