Hull City transfer window analysis.
Despite the transfer window slamming shut on a somewhat sour note for Hull City, with the collapse of the would be club-record-signing of Shane Long, the Tigers have right to be pleased with their acquisitions.
Steve Bruce has been modestly backed in the transfer market with a total outlay of around £12.5 million being spent on bringing eleven new faces into the club – with the majority having had Premier League experience in the past.
The goalkeeping department has been a worry for a number of seasons with a plethora of loanee goalkeepers being tried and tested – I count six different loan shot-stoppers in three seasons. However this window Bruce
looks to have rectified the keeper spot with the £1.5m signing of Allan McGregor from Besiktas and the free transfer of Steve Harper.
Already McGregor is proving to be a hit with the Tigers’ faithful after pulling off some fine saves against Chelsea, Norwich City and Manchester City respectively. Steve Harper, who spent 20 years at the Magpies, will prove adequate backup to the Scottish international number one.
A major factor in Hull gaining promotion to the Premier League was their defensive solidarity in a 3-5-2 system implemented by Bruce. Joining the club on a free transfer is former Wigan man Maynor Figueroa, an astute signing who has well over 100 Premier League appearances to his name.
2012-13 Birmingham City Player of the Year Curtis Davies is the other new defensive arrival in a £2.25 million pound move. Davies is already showing fans why Bruce brought him to the KC Stadium with arguably man of the match performances against both Norwich City and recently Manchester City.
Ahmed Elmohamady, who was voted the club’s Player of the Year, turned his loan into a permanent stay having impressed in the right wing-back role. A 35-year-old Abdoulaye Faye may well not cut it in the top flight and with Jack Hobbs leaving for pastures new with Nottingham Forest the club have done some smart business in defence.
Make no mistake Hull City will be relying on a number of players to make the step up from the Championship if they are to stay in the division. However, adding real quality to their ranks is the capture of Tom Huddlestone for a reported fee around £5m from Tottenham Hotspur. Fellow team-mate Jake Livermore also followed suit in a season-long loan move to East Yorkshire and, like Huddlestone, adds Premier League class which the side is lacking. Having watched all three of the opening fixtures it’s clear to see the quality both players possess. Huddlestone, a calming presence with a passing range which would improve most squads in the league. Livermore, a never-say-die workrate with impressive movement to boot.
George Boyd is the other midfielder to join in a deal agreed in principle in the January transfer window from Peterborough United. Previous clubs, the likes of QPR, have signed too many midfielders which ultimately didn’t gel as a team and Hull have taken note of this. Instead of panic buying they’ve got their business done early in the window and will only stand them in good stead in the season.
Goals were hard to come by last campaign for Steve Bruce’s men and three strikers have joined the club. Yannick Sagbo, signed from French club Evian, already has a point to prove after being shown a straight red card for an attempted head-butt in the first home game against Norwich. Whilst he may have lost his cool he has in pre-season he has showed glimpses of what he can offer.
Danny Graham penned a season-long loan from Sunderland earlier in the window. He, like Sagbo, has a point to prove after a less than successful move to Sunderland, where he failed to find the net in 11 appearances. If he can reignite the form he showed at Swansea which earned him the move to the Stadium of Light he could prove a masterstroke of a signing. Only time will tell.
Deadline day was a quiet affair for Hull until the last few hours when reports emerged that a club-record deal had been struck with West Brom for Republic of Ireland international Shane Long. The deal however seemed dependant on the Baggies once again securing the services of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku and Victor Anichebe. Meanwhile Long left his international training camp for talks at Hull’s training ground and looked set to sign. West Brom had other ideas after Lukaku opted for Everton and Steve Clarke pulled the plug on the deal. Former loan player Gedo did join in the dying embers of the window on a season-long deal from Al-Ahly.
As a Hull City fan the Shane Long deal would have been the icing on the cake to cap off a good transfer window for the club. Bruce has brought in some solid performers for next to nothing when you compare us to fellow promoted rivals Cardiff City, who have spent upwards of £30 million. Tom Huddlestone could walk into half the teams in the division so to sign him really is something of a coup. I do personally feel we are a Premier League striker short, someone who has scored in the division, Shane Long would have been a great option unfortunately.
Published on September 5 2013 for FTBpro