After impressing for Sydney FC in the A-League Men’s competition, Socceroos rookie Joel King has sealed a big-money move to the Danish Superliga.
On the 29th of January, just two days after making his debut for the Socceroos, it was confirmed that Sydney FC full-back Joel King will make the switch to Danish top-tier club Odense BK, for a six-figure fee.
The 21-year-old Sky Blue academy graduate broke into the Sydney starting XI during the 2019/20 A-League Men’s season after first-choice left-back Michael Zullo suffered a serious calf injury.
Since then, the young defender has played 72 times for the Sky Blues, once for the Australian senior national team, and three times for the Olyroos at the Tokyo Olympics where he impressed greatly.
But in fact, it was his strong performances for Sydney FC in the early months of 2021 that started attracting interest from overseas clubs.
“We first started looking at Joel King in great detail around Spring 2021. The reason we looked at Joel was that we put in a lot of work covering the A-League and Joel King was one of the players who stood out to us,” Ryan Winson, Odense Boldklub’s First Team Scout, revealed to Kick360 in an exclusive interview.
“We were looking for a left-back who could effectively contribute to the attack whilst also being defensively solid. I believe we have found that in Joel King.
“His ability to attack, his composure in possession, his stamina, and his defensive bravery make him very attractive to us at Odense Boldklub and we believe he will contribute enormously to our team efforts.”
It is all these qualities that made King such an unshakable starter for Sydney and forced Graham Arnold into calling him up for the most recent Socceroos squad.
And despite his fairly tender football age, Winson is certain that Joel is more than capable of contributing for OB right from the off, while also providing good long-term value.
“He is very much seen as somebody who will come straight into and around the first team and provide competition for the left-back position.
Being 21 years old, he is somebody who we think will also improve with experience. I am confident that Joel King is the perfect acquisition for us and our aims. I think that he will take to Danish football well and will be an important member of the team.”
Paving way for others
Winson, who has also worked for Boston United in England and Mjøndalen IF in Norway, believes that King is only the first of many Australian talents that have the potential to move to Europe.
“The Australian pool of talent is a very attractive one. There are many talented, young players coming through and I know, from speaking to scouts across Europe, that the A-League is a market that is covered in great detail by many clubs.
“If Joel King does well, which I believe he will, this will only increase the eyes on the Australian game. Many clubs will look at the recruitment we have made in Joel as an example of the talent available in the Australian game at the moment,” says Winson.
These are words of great positivity that should excite football fans and show the path to young players who want to succeed at the highest level in football.
There’s been a lot of talk over youth development issues in Australia, but European moves for the likes of King (Odense), Atkinson, and Devlin (both moved to Hearts) show that the ability is there.
Clubs from all over the Old Continent are looking at the Australian market for young and reasonably priced prospects and clubs and players alike should be taking making the most of their chances.
Image Source: Football Australia