In the early hours of 1st September Lee Darnborough and Leonid Slutsky and had made their final signing of the summer window in Fikayo Tomori. A summer of turbulence was over. A number of quality players departed, no less than 11 replacements brought in. Four months on and many of these replacements have failed to live up to their predecessors with the exceptions of Frazier Campbell, Jackson Irvine and Jon Toral. At the time of writing, the Tigers have 19 days to save their faltering season, so who do Nigel Adkins and Darnborough bring in?
A big issue so far this season has been defence and the high number in the ‘goals against’ shows that. As it stands, when this season finishes the Tigers are set to have only two senior defenders under contract and at the club – Stephen Kingsley and Ondrej Mazuch. This is a completely unacceptable situation to be in at this stage of the season and if it isn’t resolved sooner rather than later, it will come back to bite next season. As of the 12th December, no defenders have been linked to the club which is no surprise really seeing as the majority of Jill’s business is usually done in the final 72 hours of these window. I personally like the look of Dan Burn at Wigan; a commanding centre half who’s not that old and is more than capable of playing at a higher level than League One. However, the only problem there would be the price. It is likely Wigan would be reluctant to sell and even more likely Ehab Allam won’t be willing to pay a large fee.
A winger should also be high on Adkins’ priorities. Before this season the only senior winger at the club was Kamil Grosicki, meaning Jarrod Bowen had to adapt from centre forward to a wide man. Injuries to both players over the course of the season had meant Irvine and Toral and had to play on the flanks but a club still pocketing parachute payments really should to be able to afford a decent quality winger. Rumours in recent weeks around Hakeeb Adelakun, from Adkins’ previous club Scunthorpe United, who is out of contract in the summer have been rife. He is one of the brightest young talents in the Football League and will go on to play at a higher level as he is a player with bags of pace and goals. However, these rumours were put to bed yesterday when Adkins confirmed he had made a bid for a wide player that wasn’t Adelakun. There is still plenty of time in the window though for this to change.
The final position that needs strengthening this window is the centre forward one. Although the Tigers have currently for many strikers on the books, there is still need for another one. Hernandez is coming back from long term injury, Campbell is injuy prone, Dicko is lacking match fitness, Keane is coming back from long term injury, Diomande doesn’t score enough and Luer is probably a League Two quality forward. Goals haven’t been a problem this season with wide players and midfielders mostly contributing. With Hernandez out if contract in the summer, it is unsure whether there is a 20 goals a season forward at the club. The rumour mill brought up Jack Marriott at Peterborough as a possible solution to this problem. He is young, very prolific and Posh’s chairman said they would be willing to let him go for the right price. Adkins has said he admires the player but isn’t on the shortlist, quite possibly because he is on his way to Leeds United. I personally think a targetman is needed. Somebody over 6ft 2 inches. Somebody who can win long balls, hold play up and get the knockdowns for someone like Dicko and Hernandez to latch on to. It is most likely, if a striker is brought in, it will be on loan as there are two loan spaces that can still be filled. Realistically who is that going to be? That’s where Head of Recuitment Lee Darnborough earns his money.
What are your opinions Hull fans? Let us know in the comments below!
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