AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has heaped praise on in-form striker Josh King, saying he is ‘pivotal’ to the way they play.

As reported by the Bournemouth Echo, King has now reached the same number of Premier League goals as team-mate Callum Wilson this season.

The Norweigan international scored both goals in the Cherries’ 2-2 draw with Newcastle United on Saturday, in which the Magpies nicked a late point thanks to former Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie.

That takes his top-flight tally to 11, the same as Wilson, who has continuously been linked with a big money move to Chelsea amongst other clubs.

Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images Sport

King has particularly impressed in recent weeks as Wilson has been on the sidelines due to injury, scoring six goals in his last nine matches.

The 27-year-old moved to the South Coast from Blackburn in the summer of 2015 and has since gone on to make 141 league appearances for the Cherries.

He made his Norway debut in September 2012 and is now his country’s second highest Premier League goalscorer behind Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Soslkjaer.

On the importance of King, Howe said:

He is massive. I think Josh has been hugely impressive in the past few weeks and with Callum’s (recent) absence. You were always going to miss a player of Callum’s quality but Josh really stepped up. His overall performances have been very good. He is a pivotal figure to how we play and what we want to do. He has the pace, strength and technical qualities, which are quite unique. I find him great to work with. I love that level-headedness and the desire to improve that he has shown. I’ve really enjoyed working with him from day one and he’s improved a lot. It’s been great to be part of that process.

Josh King

Callum Wilson