Have Hull City snapped up the bargain of the summer?

Hull City announced this week they have signed Maynor Figueroa from Wigan on a free transfer.

Steve Bruce's response to his Sunderland sacking has been impressive, dropping down a division to the Championship and bringing them straight back into the Premier League via an automatic promotion spot.

Now back in the top flight, Bruce is wasting no time in 'tooling up', for a manager of his considerable experience knows exactly the level required at the highest level of English football.

So it is no surprise to see the manager call on an old face, a man who he signed while manager of Wigan Athletic.

When Bruce brought him to the Latics, Figueroa was a relative unknown, but in the five years since then he has cultivated a reputation as a reliable and skillful Premier League performer.

He has played more than 150 games for Wigan, and made 33 appearances in the league for the club last season, scoring once.

Age 30, Figueroa has 95 international caps to his name for Honduras, and his versatility in defence is also an asset. He made his name at Wigan as a left-back, but last season he made 30 of his starts at centre-back.

While relegated last season, Figueroa has had more success than not in avoiding the drop with perennial battlers Wigan, and this kind of experience will be vital to Hull City this coming season, whose first priority will be to achieve safety.

Statistics-wise, Figueroa made 70 tackles in the top flight last season, the fourth highest in his team last season, and his 73 interceptions the second highest narrowly behind Emerson Boyce.

Despite being a defensive player, his attack mindedness shone through, making the sixth highest number of shots-per-game on average in the Wigan squad over the course of the season, while also featuring in the top 10 'key passers', providing goalscoring opportunities and being the sixth-best successful dribbler in the squad.

What this adds up to is an all round developed player who ranks well alongside his peers, and will have no trouble adapting to the division, or manager Steve Bruce.

On a free transfer, the unheralded acquisition of Maynor Figueroa could just be the bargain of the summer.

image: © nicksarebi

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