Published: Friday 15th January 2016 by Tom Drinkall
The winter transfer window is often a busy time for football clubs – but will there be many comings and goings at Hull City over the next few weeks?
Read what James Smailes (Hull Daily Mail sports editor), Ian Waterson (City Independent editor) and Rick Skelton (From Boothferry to Wembley editor) had to say about the Tigers’ potential winter transfer window activity. Steve Bruce take note!
In which areas of the team should Hull be strengthening?
JS: They have got the best squad in the Championship and, I don’t want to pour cold water on it, but I think it will be the quietest transfer window that City have had.
RS: I think they could do with somebody, probably just one player. A striker, yeah, because if you’re going to bring somebody in it’s got to be somebody who’s going to make an impact.
IW: Maybe (a striker) to play with him (Abel Hernandez) because sometimes you’ve seen Hernandez play on his own and he can’t just keep doing it on his own – he needs someone else up there.
Hernandez works best when he’s got someone alongside him and if we can get another goal scorer in alongside him we’ve probably got one of the most potent attacks in the division.
JS: Other than the forwards there isn’t anything else to do, is there? Because who are you going to bring in that’s going to get into the midfield? And who’s going to come in and replace (Michael) Dawson, (Curtis) Davies and (Harry) Maguire (in defence)? With Dawson coming back (from injury) you’ve got competition there already. You don’t need to bring anyone else in.
Do you think Hull City will be active in the market or are they content with the players they’ve got?
IW: I think they’ll want to keep as low a profile as possible. I think they’re really trying to not rock the boat. Steve Bruce has already come out and set boundaries when you hear him say things like, ‘If you’re going to talk about our players – you’re going to pay it (the release clause) because we’re not looking to sell’.
I don’t think he wants to do anything and the flip side to that – bringing players in – if we do, we’re not going to spend money by the sounds of it so it’s going to be a loan player.
JS: They want it to be quiet but that doesn’t mean that they’re not looking. You’re not doing your job properly if you’re not speaking to players’ agents.
Should Hull be spending money during this transfer window?
RS: In fairness to (owner) Assem (Allam), they have spent a lot of money, or at least committed a lot of money, over the years. But if City did spend that money, then I think they’d be by far and away the favourites to go up. Should they be gambling? Last time we went up, we gambled – we went and got (David) Meyler, we went and secured (Robbie) Brady, we went and got Elmo (Ahmed Elmohamady) back. And that took a lot of commitment and a lot of money.
JS: I think it’s the best squad for depth (in the Championship). When you get to that final three months of the season, when injuries, suspensions and another international break come about, if you look down at the benches, which is the key, you look from player 12 to 18 in that squad – the City ones would get in front of who you’ve got at Middlesbrough, Derby, Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday.
Tom Huddlestone is attracting interest from other clubs. Would you sell him to free up funds and space in the squad for a new arrival?
JS: It’s a tricky one, isn’t it? If you say ‘Tom Huddlestone’s not playing in the team at the minute, we’ll let him go’ and then in the next game Jake Livermore gets an injury and is out for the rest of the season – you’re turning to an Isaac Hayden. He (Hayden) is a good young player earning his way, but do you trust him to take you up to the Premier League by starting every week?
Do you think Hull City will be able to keep hold of Andrew Robertson?
JS: I think he’s got a level head on his shoulders and I don’t see him chasing a move. I think he’s happy, he’s learning his trade and he wants to go up and play with City next season. You’ve got to factor that in as well – what the player wants.
So, is the strikeforce really the only area that needs addressing?
IW: I have concerns about possibly losing one or two of the defenders – the rumours don’t seem to go away. Davies is courting attention and he might just think, having not had the best last 12 months here, there is an opportunity for a pay day in the Premier League and it might be his last chance. But we do have four very good centre-backs and Harry Maguire has made sure that, whatever happens to Hull City, he’s now a keeper – you want him, he’s got to be in that squad if we go to the Premier League.
Summarise what you think will happen at Hull during the final few weeks of the January transfer window?
IW: City will do everything they possibly can to keep everybody they’ve got, they’ll try to resist any attempt to sell any players and anything that could affect disharmony in the squad they’ll do anything to safeguard against that. They will try to preserve everything that they currently hold. In an ideal world I think they’d like to add a striker and maybe if things a going well possibly even a keeper – but I’m thinking ahead. I think if they can get a striker for six months who’s a proven finisher, who’s got pace, they’d be happy.
JS: I think you go in the loan market, bring a striker in and then lose your phone for the last few weeks of the window and don’t answer any calls. Job done, happy – there’s every chance of going up.
RS: The way City work, they will sign a striker but it’ll be at 10 minutes to midnight on deadline day.
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Published: Friday 15th January 2016 by Tom Drinkall