With only a few days left of the January transfer window, it could be a frantic time for the teams lingering towards the bottom of the Premier League. Hull City will be no exception.
The sale of Jake Livermore and the impending departure of top goal scorer Robert Snodgrass has brought a heavy amount of criticism from the media and some fans, almost accusing the board of selling the foundations and heart of the squad, however from a business point of view this would have to considered great business for this time of the window.
In honesty Livermore despite perhaps when playing in the heart of the defence at the start of this season has offered little to the team since his arrival, almost becoming more of a disruption to the game of Tom Huddlestone. To get 10 million for Livermore has to be considered pretty much a steal.
The departure of Snodgrass will be a bigger blow to the team as a whole, the ability he possesses in the final third and especially on set pieces has made the Scottish international the most dangerous attacking threat. New manager Marco Silva has handled the Snodgrass situation admirably, expressing the importance of the player, however when looking at how the team has played since the Portuguese manager has arrived perhaps Snodgrass doesn’t fit into the structure discipline within the team.
At the age of thirty nine Silva has arrived with a top class CV from the continent, and although the appointment came as somewhat of a surprise to the fans and surrounding clubs the impact he has made is evident to see and it is good the see the positive response from the players. Listening to Marco Silva there is a very knowledgeable man behind the determination.
His actions and body language on the side-line shows how he likes the game to be played, and as mentioned the reaction from the players look very positive from the players. The 3-1 win against Bournemouth was a sign of how together the players are to fight back from a goal down, the performance against Chelsea was very positive despite the result, creating chances and despite the goals the team was well organised from the back to front, and the 2-1 win in the EFL Cup semi-final against Manchester United should provide a major boost for the players.
One player who has really shone since the arrival of Silva is former England international Tom Huddlestone. The centre midfielder has always had superb technique and has a top class range of passes, however moving around the pitch Huddlestone has looked clumsy, but the last few games he has been the linchpin for the team, taking control of the midfield, having tenacious runners alongside him in David Meyler and Sam Clucas is exactly what Huddlestone needs and I believe he will come into his own now under the leadership of Silva.
Harry Maguire is another player who there is concerns over his future, and has been attracting attention from fellow Premier League teams , his recent performance in the defeat to Chelsea was undoubtedly his best performance for the Tigers.
His no fear attitude, the ability to bring the ball forward from the back is highly admirable and his development defensively is evident to see.
What has to be a credited to the Marco Silva is that he wasted no time acknowledging that his squad needs adding to, the talk has really be concerning the sales of players from the club it is easy to forget that he has added four players to his injury hit squad.
Despite having a torrid time at Liverpool and with his loan clubs Silva has took a chance bringing in Lazar Markovic to help boost the team in the final third. Omar Elabdellaoui is a player the manager knows and wasted no time bringing him to the KCOM stadium to add his experience to the right hand side especially in the absence of Ahmed Elmohamady who is away at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Evandro Goebel has also arrived, the creative midfielder could prove to be a great addition to the team, he is a smart player and perhaps playing just in behind the main striker he could really thrive for the Tigers in back end of the season. Everton forgotten man Oumar Niasse has also joined and hasn’t taken long getting his first goal for the club. Niasse is a player who did not get a chance at Goodison Park and is looking to revive his career; he could prove to be a massive signing for the team after an impressive start.
Importantly Silva has been active in the transfer market and with the departure of Snodgrass, addressing the media Silva has said the club needs to press on and try and replace the Scotsman. Jamaican winger Leon Bailey was an ambitious target for the club, but looks set to join German outfit Bayer Leverkusen.
They have been linked with highly rated and highly sought after Angers winger Nicolas Pepe, at the age of twenty one, the Ivorian winger has pace and directness qualities that Hull have lacked in their team for a number of years now. Players on the continent might just be where manager Marco Silva looks towards to add to this squad, but one player who the club could turn their attentions to, would be Max Gradel at Bournemouth. The Ivorian was linked a summer move to the KCOM and since recovering from his injury he has struggled to get game time at Bournemouth this season. He would certainly add pace to the Hull attack, his final distribution might just provide his biggest problem.
Scoring goals will obviously be the key as to whether Hull stands any chance of staying up. Abel Hernandez is the main marksman for the team, another name who has been linked with other clubs in this window, keeping the Uruguay international should be the main priority in the striking department for Marco Silva, however the club might look to add another striker to either provide competition to Hernandez or to partner the striker.
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Leonardo Ulloa is a striker Hull has been linked with previously in the window and would add much needed experience and quality to the Hull frontline. The Leicester City man has only started a handful of games this season and has expressed his desire to leave the club, this could be a great opportunity for Hull to add the Argentine to their ranks and provide more goals to aid the survival bid.
The horrific injured sustained by Ryan Mason during the defeat to Chelsea has overshadowed proceedings at the club in the recent week, and with the club and doctors unclear as to how long it will take Mason to get himself back into action replacing the void by the former Tottenham man might need to be filled. As mentioned previously Marco Silva might just look more to the continent when adding players to his current squad, one man who has been linked with a swift return to English football is Yann M’Vila.
Crystal Palace would look the frontrunners if a deal to bring the Rubin Kazan midfielder was to take place, however a move to hijack that deal could prove great business for Silva and Hull. Getting a midfielder to sit and hold the midfield would be the ideal player for Silva, allowing Huddlestone to get on the ball and dictate the play more.
David Meyler is a player who adds fantastic energy to the Hull midfield and his importance is only properly recognised when he is not in the team. But adding a holding midfielder might well add the perfect balance to that midfield. Everton midfielder James McCarthy is a player that could be looking a move away with having his game time more restricted this season. The Republic of Ireland international could prove too expensive in the market for Hull, but certainly should be a player that the club should make some form of enquiry about.
One player who could be worth a real gamble for the club is the Newcastle forgotten man Cheick Tiote. The strong holding midfielder is now thirty and could be potentially form the strength in front of the backline. His attitude at St James Park in the last two seasons has been extremely questioned, so a move for the player would be an extremely questioned bit of business. With the ability Tiote has though it would be a great bit of business provided they could manage the player right.
The last stretch of the season will prove to be very difficult for Hull’s chances of surviving in the Premier League; however I am a fan of this manager and believe that the players will give him there everything in the fight against relegation. These last few days of the transfer window will prove to be very important for the final standings in the Premier League this season.