Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Josh King and Ritchie plus cash swap - no deal for AFCB

Josh King has made his feelings known. He wants to play in the number nine position and Eddie Howe may have been pondering whether he has been fair or slightly unfair to the forward who may well have done better last season if he had been given the main striker role. If Eddie is not willing to budge then Newcastle is obviously a good option for Josh King. But Newcastle Utd's play to offer Matt Ritchie in exchange for Josh King were said to be wide of the mark last night, according to Bournemouth Echo journalist Ned Payne.
Have we seen the last of Josh King in an AFCB kit?
The problem for Howe is that he has several strikers that he has preferred for that role. While Benik Afobe has departed he still has Callum Wilson and Jermain Defoe vying for the main striker position and Lys Mousset has aspirations to play more games next season. But can any of these players play in a wider role? I'd argue that Lys Mousset probably could, but Josh King is certainly the best of these players to feature wide on the right or left. King's problem is that he is so versatile.

When the team had many injury problems in the 2016/17 season it was a great move to convert King into the main striker. It worked well and King obviously liked and thrived on the responsibility. While Howe has tried to incorporate Wilson and Defoe, it has meant that King has been played in a wide role again. Would it mean a backing down and loss of face for Howe to give King more of a go as a number nine? I'd argue that Howe must do what he thinks will get the team the most goals and best results. It's not about any individual but more about how the unit can achieve better performances.

Now Newcastle United have dangled the return of Matt Ritchie in front of the Cherries to try and get the Josh King deal done. With Jordan Ibe starting to flourish last season it may be difficult to find space to fit Ibe and Ritchie in the team. For me, I don't see it as a great swap deal even with a big transfer fee as well coming AFCB's way, as Ritchie is not a striker that is going to get more than 10 goals in a season. Ritchie is great for delivering assists and a few goals but he isn't as versatile as King.
If Howe does pick King to be the main striker next season though, King has to deliver. Defoe and Wilson will not like being pushed aside and it would be u to Josh to show he is the striker who won't miss chances. He has been doing it for Norway in the international friendlies this summer and I suppose all that adds to his argument. He is good enough to be a main striker and can AFCB be too choosy about keeping him back when he has scored more goals in the Premier League as a number nine? Howe's vision of how he sees his striker may need some radical re-thinking this summer and King might have given him something to think about. Newcastle Utd won't wait forever. The fact that the story won't go away though tells me that AFCB could well be thinking of letting King go either to Newcastle or elsewhere.

Southgate's World Cup - Day 12

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