Return of King could give Bournemouth boss Howe extra options

Bournemouth striker Joshua King could provide boss Eddie Howe with a major boost by returning to action in Sunday’s home Premier League game against Arsenal.

Norway international King has been sidelined for a month and will be assessed after missing the Cherries’ last four games due to an ankle injury.

“Joshua King has improved and trained with the group and we’ll be excited if he is fit,” Howe told a press conference.

“We’re a lot better than we were after the Newcastle game, when we had a number of players with knocks.

“The (international) break has given us the chance to nurse our players and we’ll look at them all and assess their fitness ahead of Sunday.”

King will be hoping to resume his partnership with Callum Wilson after the pair started in all of the Cherries’ first 10 league games this season.

They have bagged 10 league goals between them and Wilson marked his full England debut last week by scoring in their friendly win against the United States.

“I’m very pleased for all of our international guys,” Howe said. “We watched them all very closely.

“There were so many priceless moments. Jack Simpson’s (England) Under-21s debut, Ryan Fraser’s first (Scotland) goal and Callum Wilson’s goal.”

Adam Smith is a definite absentee against the Gunners as Bournemouth bid to put back-to-back league defeats behind them after their impressive start to the season.

The full-back sustained a knee injury in the 2-1 defeat at Newcastle before the international break and is set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines.

Howe’s side had won six of their first 10 league games before successive defeats to Manchester United and Newcastle and sit sixth in the table.

Arsenal are four points and one place ahead of them while their rapid progress under Unai Emery has been checked by three straight Premier League draws.

“I think on paper this weekend’s game is set up to be a very good game,” Howe added.

“Arsenal have outstanding attacking players and a good look about their team, it will be a tough game.

“If one to 11 we are very good, then we can do well. It will be an interesting game to see which attack comes out on top and it will be a great battle for our defenders as well.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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