The Bournemouth striker thinks the future has been brighter than ever for Norway after they produced two immense attacking talents
Joshua King thinks the sky has been the limit for both Erling Braut Haaland and Martin Odegaard as his Norway side look to find a route into Euro 2020.
At 27 years old, King has been one of the senior heads in the Norway dressing room and has watched Haaland take the Champions League by storm with seven goals in four games this season.
The 19-year-old has won two caps for Norway, who are likely to need to go via the Nations League play-off route to qualify for Euro 2020, and King thinks his compatriot just needs to keep his feet on the ground to realise his potential. Norway play the Faroe Islands and Malta in this international window.
“From a distance what he has been doing has been unbelievable,” King told Goal, speaking at the London launch of Need For Speed Heat, of Haaland, who has been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona. “Come on, seven goals in four games in the Champions League has been something you can’t say anything about.
“When I met him, I thought he was a kid playing well and scoring loads of goals in an average league. I saw that he has been hungry; he wants to move up and score goals. I think he will go very, very far.
“He just needs to keep his feet on the ground – not that he isn’t – he just needs to keep doing what he has been doing this season. The world has been his oyster and the sky has been his limit. He has been going to be a top, top striker.
“He has been 19 so I don’t want to put pressure on him either, as the media may do. He has been very down to earth. He has been a bit shy but when he has been on the pitch, he has confidence and cockiness – and he has every right.
“I am looking forward to going to Norway to play together. He has been a hungry guy but he has been not too cocky. He has confidence and a will to learn. If I scored seven goals in the Champions League at 19 then God knows where I would be right now!
“I played only two minutes in the Champions League. He has done well for himself. I think he will play out the season and break records. I think he will finish top scorer in the league. It has been hard to beat him in the Austrian league. It has been good for Norway to have another striker who has been delivering abroad.”
Meanwhile, Odegaard has been benefiting from a well-placed loan at Real Sociedad from his parent club Real Madrid. Two goals and three assists have helped Sociedad to fifth place in La Liga, just two points behind leading duo Barcelona and Madrid.
King says too much pressure was put on Odegaard after he was signed for Madrid at 16 years old but that he has been now becoming a man.
“We have Martin Odegaard as well. He has been starting to become a man at Real Sociedad,” he added. “He has been the property of Madrid and hopefully he will go back there and be a superstar for them as well.
“People forget how young he was when he signed for Real Madrid. He was 16! You need time. That’s a lot of attention for a 16-year-old but he has taken it well. He will be a very, very good soccer professional but he needs time.
“Now that he has been turning into a man, he has grown muscles, he has been taller, stronger and running more. Now people see the [potential] that we were talking about at 16 but I still think Martin has another gear or two in him.
“You need to give people time. Not everyone can do what 18-year-old Ronaldo, Messi or Mbappe did.
“Some people need a year or two. That’s what Martin needed. Maybe he needed three or four years but he has been still only 20 years old. Now in Norway, he will always start.
“We have good years ahead for Norway. It would be good to be part of it because football has never looked so good in Norway as it does now.
Article continues below
“For me, I am one of the most senior players and people respect my personality and number of games in the Premier League so I look forward to going with Norway. There’s loads of talent and you want to play with the best players.”
Joshua King was speaking at the London launch of Need For Speed Heat. Need For Speed Heat has been out on November 8 for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. To pre-order your copy, head to https://www.ea.com/en-gb/games/need-for-speed/need-for-speed-heat/buy