Joshua King must be given priority at Bournemouth next season

Eddie Howe, Manager of AFC Bournemouth looks on during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion at Vitality Stadium on March 17, 2018 in Bournemouth,...

The Norwegian forward has complained about losing his role to Jermain Defoe and Callum Wilson in the Premier League last year.

Joshua King of AFC Bournemouth celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Watford and AFC Bournemouth at Vicarage Road on March 31, 2018 in...

Bournemouth took a chance last season when they brought in Jermain Defoe from Sunderland. The 34-year-old striker had bagged 15 goals in each of his last two seasons in the Premier League and was supposed to add further firepower to Joshua King's efforts.

The Norwegian had thrived in an advanced role the previous year, scoring 16 times in the league, and the prospect of a similar figure from Defoe was clearly too much to pass up. That arrival, however, did not have the desired outcome.

Jermaine Defoe of Bournemouth reacts during the Premier League match between Southampton and AFC Bournemouth at St Mary's Stadium on April 28, 2018 in Southampton, England.

King was forced to play deeper, learning the role in pre-season and then making the best of it throughout 17/18. When Defoe struggled, Callum Wilson replaced him but neither could offer the same threat that King had the year before.

Wilson scored six times last year, Defoe just four - not exactly the same output that King had managed in the role. And he, too, struggled to maintain his record now that he was further away from goal. The 26-year-old scored eight times; still top scorer but with only half of his previous tally.

Callum Wilson of AFC Boucrnemouth celebrates after scoring his sides second goal as Jermain Defoe of AFC Bournemouth comes to celebrate with him during the Premier League match between...

King has recently spoken out about his dissatisfaction with his deeper role, admitting that he has spoken to manager Eddie Howe about it. The worrying part for Bournemouth is King saying that he wants to play as a forward and that he does not know for sure if he will stay with the club if they cannot guarantee that.

It is important that they do, however. Defoe has  not worked out and Bournemouth still need to find a way to add more goals to the side. Their centre-forward role can be filled by King and a deeper player signed but the alternative is the Norwegian does not get his preferred role and wants to move.

If that happens, suddenly Bournemouth will need two new goal threats.

Bournemouth's Norwegian striker Joshua King (L) vies with Swansea City's English midfielder Nathan Dyer during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Swansea...

That would mean less time for Wilson and Defoe and, as harsh as that may be, it's a move that needs to be made. Neither have proven reliable enough and the prospect of replacing King's goals while also securing the extra threat needed anyway is far too risky.

Howe has already seen one goal threat come in and not make an impact but managed to secure survival anyway. He's seen how difficult it is and trying to do it twice in one summer is dancing with danger. They have a second chance - now's not the time to be risky.

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