With exactly a month until the transfer window closes, Vincent Ralph takes a closer look at the Tigers’ summer business to date:
Hull City were many people’s pick to go straight back down next season. But they obviously didn’t watch them in last year’s Championship, where Steve Bruce oversaw some of the most impressive football in the division; while the manager’s summer business thus far has been both impressive and sensible.
Here we take a look at who has arrived, who may be next, and who the club were both lucky and unlucky to miss out on.
Goalkeepers: Allan McGregor (£1.5million), Steve Harper (free)
Defenders: Curtis Davies (£2million), Maynor Figueroa (free)
Midfielders: Ahmed Elmohamady (£2million)
Strikers: Yannick Sagbo (undisclosed), Danny Graham (loan), George Boyd (free)
It is believed Bruce has around £15million to spend this summer. If reports are true that Sagbo cost in the region of £3million, then he has so far spent around £8.5million in transfer fees. Factor in wages – and the fact that he is yet to generate additional money from player sales – and there isn’t a lot left to play with.
Steve Bruce has made no secret of his desire to strengthen his midfield, with Stoke City’s Wilson Palacios previously linked with a move to the KC Stadium. However, the 29-year-old looks like being granted a fresh start at the Potters under new boss Mark Hughes, leaving Bruce seeking alternatives.
That man may be Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole, after Paolo Di Canio left the combative midfielder out of the club’s pre-season tour and gave his shirt number to new signing Cabral. Both Hull and Fulham are now said to be monitoring the situation, with Cattermole due for talks with his manager this week.
If only and what if:
Having agreed a fee with Burnley for Charlie Austin, it seemed Hull were about to give the prolific 24-year-old the chance to demonstrate his innate goal-scoring talent at the highest level. That was until a failed medical ended the move.
But there could be better news if Hull are genuinely interested in Manchester City midfield Abdisalam Ibrahim. The 22-year-old has previously been compared to both Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure, and he has now confirmed he has been granted a free transfer.
With Hull seeking midfield reinforcements, they would do well to act quickly in light of reported interest from a Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle United and Swansea City.
Thank God it didn’t happen:
“We have to be well balanced and afford what we can afford, and not send the club, if we don’t succeed in what we want to do, into an abyss. We’ve got to be mindful of that.
“Nicklas Bendtner, without question, has got huge talent, but he might just be too expensive.”
And with those words from Bruce, Hull fans everywhere breathed a huge sigh of relief.
What to expect from the next month:
Having strengthened both defensively and in attack, Bruce must now reenergise his midfield. Cattermole is a realistic target – especially if reports are true that Sunderland would consider sending him on loan – while Hull may attempt to add another chapter in their successful relationship with Manchester United by borrowing another young player from Old Trafford.
Nick Powell would excel at the club, and would give the Tigers’ something extra in the midfield. While Bruce will think he is close to the front of the queue should Jesse Lingard become available in a temporary deal. But with a club only able to take one player on loan from a top flight rival, Powell would be the more sensible option.
Regarding outgoings, both Cameron Stewart and Aaron McLean are expected to complete moves to Championship clubs in the next few weeks.
Transfer rating with a month to go:
7 out of 10
Who else would you like to see arrive at the club before September? And are you happy with Bruce's business thus far?
image: © nicksarebi