Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti believes his squad is “quite complete” after the deadline-day signing of Bournemouth forward Joshua King but admits Champions League qualification is currently beyond his side.
The 29-year-old Norway international, who was out of contract in the summer, joined on a short-term deal for a nominal fee but he is a player whom Ancelotti had eyes on six months ago.
When it became apparent a deal was there to be done, the Toffees nipped in to beat Fulham to his signing and his acquisition adds much-needed pace to the forward line.
“We let Cenk Tosun go to Turkey, we let Anthony (Gordon) go to have experience and improve his knowledge at Preston and we needed a provider for the position up front,” said Ancelotti, who will be without goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, out with a rib injury, for the trip to Leeds.
“I think Josh King is a really good profile for us. We were looking at him in the summer and we had a possibility to have him.
“I think with his quality he will improve our squad as he can cover all the positions up front and has experience in the Premier League. I am happy to have him in the squad.
“The squad is quite complete in this moment. I am satisfied with the squad we have at this moment.”
King has not scored in the league since, coincidentally, against Everton on the final day of last season when Bournemouth were relegated.
His three goals this campaign have all come in the FA Cup, but that does not concern Ancelotti.
“We didn’t sign him to have more goals. We signed him to use his quality – he is a powerful, fast player – for this reason, not to score more goals,” he added.
“We signed him to have more options in front so with him we have more options.
“I’m not talking about goals. Of course we need goals but we have players who can score goals.”
King’s arrival may have come too late, however, to help achieve Ancelotti’s dream of qualifying for the Champions League.
A week ago he said matches against Leicester and Newcastle would show whether those ambitions were realistic but just one point from both – including a morale-destroying home defeat to the out-of-form Magpies – appears to have scuppered their chances.
“Now it is beyond Everton, it still remains a dream for us,” he said.
“I think after the game against Leicester gave us an answer, the game against Newcastle gave us another answer. To fight for fourth position, we have to improve.
“The position in the table is not bad. We want to be there until the end of the season, to fight for a position in Europe.
“Without spirit we cannot fight for the position in Europe.”