Come the hour, come the man; West Ham must pursue Joshua King

West Ham transfer target Joshua King. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
West Ham transfer target Joshua King. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /

The January transfer window is officially open and West Ham need to make a splash at striker with Joshua King lined up and ready to come to East London.

While some of the names in West Ham’s squad are impressive, there is a general lack of depth in key positions. Central midfield and left-back are areas of concern for the club, however, no position is in more need of reinforcements than striker.

With Michail Antonio returning from an injury layoff and Sebastien Haller run to the ground through a difficult fixture stretch, the Hammers need to recruit a versatile centre-forward to help them push forward in the second half of the season.

Joshua King is a player who has been heavily linked to West Ham since Bournemouth’s relegation to the Championship. He has stated his interest in leaving for a Premier League team since relegation, King has also been left out of the Bournemouth squad with a lingering injury that some are suggesting is actually a protest to force a move.

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The benefits of signing King are varied for the Hammers. He is a 28-year-old forward with 161 games of Premier League experience. He is also able to play across the forward line, playing the majority of his career as a secondary striker, as well as a solo striker, left-winger and right-winger.

The name of the game for King is speed and well-timed runs across the defensive line. His ability to do so regardless of position or area on the pitch could make him even more valuable for David Moyes, who can select him and apply him where he feels the need for extra pace.

As a counterattacking team, West Ham are reliant on breaking out with speed after turning the ball over. Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio thrive in this role, but Sebastien Haller, Pablo Fornals, and Said Benrahma have all had struggles adjusting to this system. King would likely fall into the former group, able to lean on his speed to create space on direct runs.

The pricetag on King is something that is very contentious. Some believe that King having been ‘injured’ for the majority of the season (only played in seven matches) and the fact that he is on an expiring deal should see his price cut to the sub £10m mark.

Bournemouth did reject an offer of £13m in the summer after relegation, possibly suggesting they valued him higher (obviously) but that they also believed he would be a key piece in their hunt for promotion. With him not contributing a goal or assist yet this season, it is safe to say Bournemouth are probably going to cash in on him in January.

Rumours around the club suggest that Moyes rates King highly and that the past few weeks the club has been working on a deal for King at a cut-price.

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While King wouldn’t be a transformative signing to the club, he is a player who mimics Antonio’s playstyle more than Hallers and would provide great cover and a plan b to the Hammers attack. His experience is very solid and he knows how to score at this level. Not much is expected as far as business is concerned for West Ham in January, but signing King is a needed move.