It’s unknown just how much Martin O’Neill wanted to bring him to the City Ground. In hindsight, it’s difficult to understand why the Reds would’ve wanted another central midfielder on their books. However, King is attack-minded which O’Neill would’ve found useful.
The likes of Jack Colback, Ben Watson, Claudio Yacob and Ryan Yates are all good midfielders. But they don’t carry much attacking threat. Adlène Guedioura is arguably the most attack-minded central midfielder at the club.
Of course, João Carvalho also has the ability to carve sides open, but is typically played in a no.10 role. O’Neill doesn’t seem to fancy the 21-year-old Portuguese midfielder at present anyway.
With all of that taken into account, King would’ve been a useful addition, but not a vitally important one. The priority for O’Neill in January was to bring in defensive reinforcements, and he managed to achieve that.
Is Derby’s style of football better suited to King?
Derby are currently sat five points above the Reds in the Championship with a game in hand. Since joining the Rams, King has admitted that this was a key factor in helping him decide to join Frank Lampard’s side.
According to a report in the Nottingham Post, the midfielder said: “It’s a tough one. The Leicester and Forest rivalry was a little bit more and always something I was going to be sensitive of.
“I think, as it stands, Derby are in a better position, maybe play a style of football which is maybe, better, more suited to how I want to play.
“Forest are a great club, also, a massive club, but I think the odds were probably stacked in Derby’s favour the minute I knew they were interested, it was for me, that I wanted to come here.
“You always want to play at the highest level you can, for me that’s obviously playing in the Premier League.”
Unsurprisingly, King’s comments haven’t gone down too well on Trentside. With the latest instalment of the East Midlands Derby on the horizon, the Leicester City loanee could be set for a frosty reception at the City Ground.