Bournemouth boss Jason Tindall has claimed that striker Josh King will have to earn his right to return to the starting XI but that he is delighted to have him to call upon moving forward.
The 28-year-old was linked with a move back to the Premier League in the summer, with West Ham United touted with a strong interest in the closing stages of the domestic window.
After being relegated from the top flight, the Cherries lost a number of their prized assets during the transfer window – including the likes of Callum Wilson and Nathan Ake – but King remains at the Vitality Stadium.
He said: “As a footballer, first and foremost you’ve got a duty to be the best you that you can be and deliver the best performances for yourself and ultimately at the football club you’re at.
“I’m sure Josh King would want to do that. That’s what I would be expecting from him.
“For the football club we’re delighted Josh King is still a Bournemouth player.
“I’m delighted as manager Josh King is still a Bournemouth player. To have someone of his quality to be able to call upon is going to be a great thing for us moving forward.”
Asked on when he would be brought back into the squad, the Bournemouth boss added: “He’s in the same position as the remainder of the squad.
“I think you’ve got to earn your right to play, you’ve got to earn your right to be in the squad, regardless of what you’ve done in the past, regardless of what your name is ¬– I think that means nothing.
“You’ve got to prove to yourself and prove to everyone and prove to me that you deserve to be selected in the team, you deserve to be selected in the squad and I’ve got a duty to pick what I think is the best team to win the game and what I feel is the best squad to select.
“That’s what I’ll do and it’s down to the players to prove they’re the ones that are playing or they’re the ones that are in the squad.”
Bournemouth have made a strong start to life back in the Championship and currently sit third with 11 points from five games.
King is yet to make an appearance for the Cherries this season but as Saturday’s game against QPR is the first of three in a week, Tindall could look to involve the 28-year-old soon.
Do these celebrities support Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Brighton or Southampton?
After their relegation, it looked likely King would be one of the players that left Bournemouth in the summer but it’s a boost for them that he remains at the club and that Tindall wants to bring him back into the fray.
With his current deal set to expire next summer, it’s going to be interesting if more clubs show an interest in January and whether West Ham return after they were keen before the transfer window closed.
Bournemouth will be hoping that King will look to use the next few months as an opportunity to show that he deserves a move back to the top flight, as that’s likely to mean he’s at his best.