Pragmatism and a desire to solve their problems in front of goal convinced Sheffield United to sign Marlon King, manager David Weir insisted last night.
King, who is expected to make his debut for the League One club against Preston North End this weekend, has agreed a short-term contract at Bramall Lane after resuming training with the former Scotland international’s squad yesterday.
Weir told The Star: “He’s obviously a talented player and fits the criteria in regards to what we want. Obviously the transfer window has ended and he was available.
“He’s a goalscorer, has great experience and has been there and done it. He’s scored at a very high level and has all the attributes we need which can help the younger players already here .”
King is a controversial figure after serving two prison sentences earlier in his career. However, although United supporters have expressed divided opinions about the 33-year-old’s chequered past off the pitch, his calibre on it is beyond dispute.
King, who was recalled by Jamaica for the recent World Cup qualifiers with Panama and Costa Rica, boasts 45 goals in his previous 108 appearances and has commanded transfer fees totalling nearly £7m since turning professional at Barnet 15 years ago.
Having seen United hit the target just once in eight hours of competition, Weir felt compelled to act despite electing not to immediately strike a deal with King following a previous round of talks earlier this month.
“As a team we have not scored enough goals, you cannot get away from that,” Weir said. “He has got attributes that will help.
“He fits the criteria: he is available, scores goals and is experienced. He ticks all the boxes in many respects.”
King, who is scheduled to remain with United until the end of the season, left Birmingham City in August.
“He looks fit,” Weir said. “He’s not played week-out so there will be a gap there but he looks after himself so we’ll get him in condition so he can contribute for us.”