Hull City: The State of Play #2
It’s that time again, the time we look into the mess that is Hull City AFC. There have been a few changes since our last post, and finally some transfers coming in which should help make the opening game this weekend more bearable.
Breaking News: Hull City Make Permanent Signing
We feel this grants a headline in itself. Hull City, vice-chaired by Ehab Allam, have purchased a player for the team! Please, pick yourselves off the floor.
Hull City make the signing of Kevin Stewart for, reportedly, £4m (with extras that may make the total £8m). Finally, we have made a signing this window that isn’t a favour from our manager’s friends!
Unfortunately this deal came at a cost. The cost is in the form of Andy Robertson going the other way for around £10m. So basically we made a nice (potentially) £6m profit on selling a player we have no replacements lines up for to bring in another midfielder. Smart business as usual.
More Transfer News
Let’s look at again at the total transfers for the window so far. There have been some notable additions, which I will write about in full in a later paragraph.
Out: Eldin Jakupovic (£2.5m), Harry Maguire (£11.5m), Andy Robertson (£10m), Tom Huddlestone (£2m), Josh Tymon (£TBD), Curtis Davies (£500k), Ahmed Elmohamady (£1m).
In: Kevin Stewart (£4m), Ola Aina (Loan), Ondrej Mazuch (£?), Callum Burton (£?), Michael Hector (Loan), Liam Edwards (£0)
Not forgetting the release of several players, notably: Shaun Maloney, Alex Bruce and Johan Ter Horst.
Money In: £27.5m (with Tymon’s fee TBD). Money Out: £4m (possibly £6.5m after Mazuch and Burton)
Now naturally you would think back now to Ehab’s immortal words “we are not a selling club”, but to be fair to him a couple of the transfers out were completely understandable. Harry Maguire was always destined for the Premier League, and with Josh Tymon it was understandable that he would want to move to a team that show a desire to keep him (and offer him a proper contract, not a schoolboy contract).
Such is the way that Hull City have operated in the most recent years we only offer contract renewals once another team shows interest. We lost Tom Huddlestone because we didn’t offer him a decent deal to keep him. We lost Tymon because Ehab wanted to pay peanuts. I’m sure Eldin Jakupovic wanted to stay, but the offer the club would have made him would have been ridiculous.
The one player that sticks out that we have let leave has to be Johan Ter Horst. He is one player we expected to get his chance after we were relegated to the Championship. He has been performing well for the U23 team, alongside Jarrod Bowen, but was never given his chance in the first team. It’s surprising that he wasn’t offered any kind of chance to prove himself, or even given a season out on loan to get some first-team experience. His move to Maidstone United is frustrating, but such is the life of a Hull City fan.
We’ve always been fans of Bowen in the Hull.Today offices. His ability outshone the opponents he faced in the U23 team greatly, and he was finally given the chance to test himself against some of the countries top players last season. In the pre-season friendlies so far he has been one of our best players. He has taken this opportunity to break into the first team and run with it.
His performance against Portuguese champions Benfica was outstanding, and his goal was superb. That’s not taking away from his goal against Bristol Rovers too.
We’re certainly hoping he manages to seal his place in the Hull City team this season, and hopefully Ehab does the right thing and renews his contract in January before he’s tempted away by better clubs.
The Weekend Ahead
The start of the season is upon us already. Of course that game would be against Aston Villa, the club now managed by, arguably, our most successful managed of all time, Steve Bruce.
Villa have strengthened their club quite nicely in the pre-season so far. Signings of notability include John Terry and our own Ahmed Elmohamady. It is worrying that Elmo is now playing against us, as Bruce seems to know the way to get performances out of Elmo (most notably: playing him in his best position).
Hopefully the players don’t get spooked by playing against the likes of Terry, as we have a young and quick side, ready to exploit Terry’s slower legs.
Slutsky does have his work cut out for him against a team which has invested well in the window, but hopefully a few of our home-grown stars start to shine.
We’re not expecting great things from this weekend, and we certainly won’t be blaming Slutsky for the lack of ambition. Who could blame the happiest guy in management?
In all it’s going to be a long weekend, but hopefully we can get something out of the game, even if it’s just Bowen breaking his first team goal duck.
And Finally: Ehab’s New Ride
Looks like Ehab has bought himself a new ride. A Lambroghini none the less. We certainly hope wherever he bought it from put a minimum release fee clause in the contract. Although, more to the point, we hope no players need selling to balance the books after such a luxury purchase from our benevolent vice-chairman.