Norwegian footballer sought by bigger Premier League clubs
Jo Christian Weldingh
Joshua Christian Kojo King is a 25-year-old Norwegian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Bournemouth and the Norwegian national team. After representing Norway at under-15, under-16, under-18, under-19, and under-21 levels, King made his senior international debut against Iceland in 2012 and scored his first international goal against Cyprus later that year.
He was signed by Manchester United from Vålerenga in 2008. After loan spells with Preston North End, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hull City, and Blackburn Rovers, King signed permanently with Blackburn in January 2013, before switching to Bournemouth in May 2015.
The Norwegian national team soccer player has had a great second half of the season so far—scoring 11 goals in 12 matches, 15 in total, as of May 12—and has caught the eye of several bigger Premier League clubs. On May 8, in the 2-2 draw against Stoke, he was close to scoring another but had to settle for an assist since the ball touched Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross’s foot before it crossed the line.
The Norwegian’s goal scoring form has allegedly caught the interest of league number two Tottenham. Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe seems determined to keep King in his squad, however.
“He will cost a fortune if he’s sold right now,” local Bournemouth expert Paul Macnamara declares. “In the last couple of months he has been one of the best strikers in the league and has shown that he is a top class player. There will be great interest from several clubs when the transfer window opens in June.”
The rumors have already started. Tottenham has apparently shown interest, as they have struggled to find a backup striker for Harry Kane; West Ham is desperately searching for a goal scorer, while Everton will be looking for a replacement for league top scorer Romelu Lukaku, who will probably be sold after the season. There has been speculation on a transfer fee of more than USD 50 million, which will make him the most expensive Norwegian footballer ever. The current record is held by Tore Andre Flo, who was sold from Chelsea to Rangers for USD 15 million back in 2000.
King’s contract binds him to Bournemouth for another three years and Howe has no intentions of letting him go any time soon, no matter how big the potential transfer fee is. Answering a question from local newspaper Bournemouth Echo on if it would be difficult to turn down a big transfer offer from Tottenham, Howe answers that he doesn’t think so and adds that he has a clear vision when it comes to how he wants to lead the team in the future.
He continues to praise King: “His professionalism when he first came here was obvious from day one. He took care of his body and even though he didn’t get a place in the starting eleven immediately, he showed up on the training grounds on his days off. Now those extra training sessions have started to pay off.”
Jo Christian Weldingh grew up in Lillehammer, Norway, but is currently living in Oslo. He has a BA in Archaeology from The University of Oslo and a BA in Business Administration from BI Norwegian Business School.
This article originally appeared in the June 2, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.