Ancelotti Explains Reasons For Everton's King Signing

Carlo Ancelotti says versatile attacker Joshua King’s quality and speed and strength add up to a player who is the “right profile” for Everton.

King completed his move to Goodison Park from Bournemouth in the hours before Monday’s transfer deadline.

And Ancelotti, whose side visit Leeds United on Wednesday, insists he is entering the second half of the Premier League season with a squad that can cover all bases.

Equally, the Everton manager reckons his side’s campaign remains alive with possibilities, on condition they recover the spirit and attitude that he says were misplaced for 90 minutes against Newcastle United on Saturday.

Norway international striker King will join the push for European football after 161 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth yielded 48 goals.

“Joshua King is the right kind of profile we needed,” said Ancelotti.

“We were looking at him in the summer and with his quality he is going to improve our squad.

“He is a powerful player, a fast player and we signed him to have more options in front.

“He can cover all the positions [across the forward line] and has experience in the Premier League.

“We are happy to have him.

“The squad is quite complete in this moment.

“We let players who need to play go on loan, we want to give them opportunities to improve their condition and knowledge and experience.

“In the summer they will be back because we have a lot of confidence in our young players.”

Ancelotti confessed he is going to Leeds hoping to “equalise” against Marcelo Bielsa, the Elland Road manager who emerged on top from the two men’s first encounter, at Goodison back in November.

Everton have won five and drawn two of their nine Premier League matches in the intervening period for a return of 17 points from 27 available.

They are eighth in a remarkably congested table, where victories in both games in hand would draw Everton level on points with fourth-placed Leicester City.

Ancelotti’s side drew a very watchable game with Leicester last week but head to Leeds smarting from a below-par display in the weekend loss to Newcastle.

“We were disappointed about the defeat and we lost a great opportunity to go up the table,” said Ancelotti.

“We have another opportunity tomorrow [against Leeds], it will be really difficult and we have to show a different attitude and spirit.

“The players know how to behave in the Premier League, they did really well, I cannot forget we had a fantastic run.

“We have to be back with our spirit and attitude.

“This is the key point to have success and reach victory.

“It is a good lesson for the future: with only quality, we are not able to win games.

“Of course, we have quality but we have to support it with the attitude and spirit we showed in a lot of games.

“Spirit is not like a light switch you can turn on and off.

“You have to be ready and train and be focused from the day before the game.”

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Ancelotti said he was expecting an “unpredictable” game against Leeds, who return to their own stadium following successive victories at Newcastle and Leicester.

Argentine Bielsa’s team have been gained more points away than at home in Leeds' first top-flight campaign in 16 years – and Ancelotti reiterated his belief the absence of fans in grounds is responsible for skewing normal trends.

Everton have similarly had more joy on the road – but won both Goodison Premier League fixtures when 2,000 fans were allowed inside.

Ancelotti, then, is eyeing a seventh away win this term and the reignition of a charge towards the division’s top-four positions.

“The Champions League remains a dream for us... the game against Leicester could be a good sign [for top-four potential] but against Newcastle, we showed another face,” added Ancelotti.

“To fight for fourth position we have to improve.

“Without spirit, we cannot fight for a position in Europe.

“We want to be there until the end of the season and, of course, we have confidence [for Leeds], away we usually do better than at home.”