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Manchester United Transfers: Will Joshua King be a good fit at Old Trafford?

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Earlier in the week, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted in an interview on his club’s official channel that the Red Devils will delve into the transfer market to strengthen the squad ahead the next season.

Doubts have emerged as to whether Odion Ighalo will be able to complete his loan spell at Old Trafford as his current deal will expire at the end of this month, with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua looking to have him back ahead of their planned resumption to the campaign.

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All possibilities, therefore, point to Manchester United looking to invest in a striker in the summer. A number of names have been doing the rounds, and AFC Bournemouth striker Joshua King is someone who has been heavily linked with a switch to the Premier League giants.

The Manchester United academy graduate failed to make an impact at the big stage after being promoted to the senior level back in 2010, and after five consecutive loan spells, was sold to Blackburn Rovers in 2013.

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Joshua King’s success came largely at Bournemouth, for whom he has scored 47 goals in 161 appearances. The Norway international’s impressive performances have kept the scouts interested, with recent reports claiming that four of the top six Premier League clubs are keeping tabs on the 28-year-old.

Bournemouth’s position in the Premier League will also be an essential prerogative while deciding on a potential fee for the player when the transfer window reopens, with the Cherries currently in a relegation scramble. Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward had tabled a late £25 million bid in January for the services of King. Woodward had given his Bournemouth counterpart Neill Blake just 15 minutes to consider the bid, but King stayed put at the Vitality Stadium.

However, a relegation to the Championship and a need to balance the books might force Eddie Howe’s hands this summer.

So, in this article, we will try and discuss why Joshua King might turn out to be a good fit for Manchester United.

King’s ability to play both centrally and wide

Joshua King can play equally well both centrally as well as out wide, meaning he can be used by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a central striker or a winger. So, even when Solskjaer is using either Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial up front, he can still deploy his compatriot down the wing to assist in the attacking play.

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Given that scenario, Daniel James can be used down the other wing, with Martial or Rashford taking up the number ten role.

King’s Familiarity with Old Trafford

Having progressed through Manchester United’s famed academy, Joshua King knows the facilities better than anyone else. Moreover, he has worked under Sir Alex Ferguson and has learned from the legend himself.

With the appointment of one of Ferguson’s former students, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Red Devils delivered a clear message that they want to build the team from the scratch. The former Molde boss has started the process by bringing in players who are far from being established stars.

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Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are both still establishing themselves at the top level and can make their presence felt in the years to come. Even Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire’s best days are believed to be ahead of them.

Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has come out in support of Solskjaer’s transfer policy, insisting that the young manager’s sole focus has been on recruiting good characters, a policy that has paid off.

“I think that’s what Ole has tried to do over the last months, have some really good characters in the dressing room.”

Ryan Giggs said in an interview with MUTV

King, in spite of being 28, fits the bill. He doesn’t have a huge reputation and can gel well with the squad and start delivering for the Red Devils.

Proven Premier League pedigree

Joshua King has been with Bournemouth since 2015 and has been witness to the various ups and downs since the Cherries’ promotion to the Premier League. A switch to Old Trafford, therefore, won’t require him to adapt to the environment unlike someone such as Timo Werner or Jadon Sancho.

A low-profile signing wouldn’t get the over-expectant Manchester United fans all pumped up, which in turn could prove to be helpful for King.

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Manchester United won’t invest that heavily in the transfer market this summer, as has been suggested by Ed Woodward. King will be available for a comparatively lower price than the likes of Sancho and Werner, thus making him an exciting prospect for the Red Devils. And the player himself will be eager for a return to Old Trafford after failing to do so in January.

What now remains to be seen is to when the current season is brought to a conclusion and when the summer transfer window opens. Moreover, it also remains to be seen how much money each team will have in their kitty, owing tot he COVID-19 crisis, when the transfer window finally opens.

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