King set to make his United debut

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Sheffield United are expected to hand a debut to new striker Marlon King in Saturday’s clash with Preston North End.

United yesterday confirmed the short-term signing of striker King, who was without a club following his departure from Birmingham City in August.

The 33-year-old Londonder trained at United’s Redtooth Academy yesterday and spent the afternoon locked in negotiations with United officials aimed at signing terms at Bramall Lane.

United boss David Weir, now hopes to include the former Watford striker in his line-up to face Simon Grayson’s men on Saturday, and said: “Marlon is a goalscorer, first and foremost.

“He fits the criteria we have; he’s available, and he is someone that we want to get in.

“He’s got experience - Marlon is someone that has been there and done it, scored goals at a high level, and he has the attributes to compliment the young players we have here.”

King has trained alone since leaving St Andrews, but played for Jamaica in their World Cup 2014 qualifiers against Panama and Costa Rica recently.

“Obviously he’s not had the week in, week out football in the leagues,” Weir continued.

“But he’s played for Jamaica during the last international break, and he’s a fit man.

“Obviously there’ll be some gap there, but he’s looked after himself and now it has been sorted, we’ll look to get him in the condition he needs to be.

“But we will be looking to introduce him as quickly as possible.”

King is one of football’s most controversial characters and, with a charge sheet including two spells in prison for crimes including receiving stolen goods, sexual assault and assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, his signing is sure to divide opinion amongst United fans.

But a footballing CV that includes 149 career league goals, a productive Premier League spell at Watford and combined transfer fees in excess of £6.5m has convinced Weir that King is worth the risk, as he looks to improve his side’s goalscoring threat.

“As a team, we’ve not scored enough goals,” the former Scotland international admitted.

“You can’t get away from that, and Marlon will help with that. He ticks all the boxes.”

Weir, whose side haven’t tasted victory since their opening-day win over Notts County, is also hopeful of bringing in another player on loan before the clash with fifth-placed North End.

“We are working on the possibility of bringing someone else in,” he confirmed.

“I can’t comment on individuals, but it is someone that will make us better.

“I can’t say whether they’ll be here by Saturday, as the situation changes all the time. I can’t put a timeframe on it, but we are working hard.”