Depending on the outcome of Thursday’s meeting with the owners – Steve Bruce may well find himself shopping in the budget section for summer transfers.
I’ve had a look at five cheaper deals that may appeal to the Hull City manager, assuming he gets enough commitment from the owners to stay.
Jamie Walker – Winger – Hearts – Age 22
The Edinburgh born wide man is one of a number of players who came of age during Hearts domination of the Scottish Championship last season. After exiting administration, Hearts made the decision to build a team around their youngsters and it’s benefitted the club and the players.
Walker has bags of talent but was previously considered lazy. His manager heaped praise on him last season for improving his work-rate and fitness and it resulted in him hitting eleven goals in thirty-three league games.
The player isn’t desperate to leave Edinburgh, having a young family, but he’s sure to be the object of attention from England, and maybe further afield, before too much longer.
Sam Clucas – Winger – Chesterfield – Age 24
A former Leicester City youth product, Clucas has had to work his way back up the football ladder after being let go by the Foxes and has done so via a spell at the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain and moves to Hereford, Mansfield and Chesterfield.
He’s not short of admirers and Chesterfield have already rejected offers over £1m from Wigan Athletic. We were afforded the opportunity to watch him closely in The Tigers recent friendly at the Proact Stadium and he looks a quick, strong player who is comfortable wide or playing off the striker. He’s constantly on the move looking for space and has a very nice left foot.
He’s still a little rough – his touch needs work and he can be more composed but he’s a good age and a fair price and will get better.
Jamie Murphy – Winger – Sheffield United – Age 25
Murphy is another Scottish wide player who also bagged eleven league goals last season. The Glaswegian enjoyed a productive season at Bramall Lane after struggling to settle during the previous couple of years after his move south from Motherwell.
Murphy has good pace, trickery and an eye for goal. He can improve his physical attributes but has time on his side.
There is likely to be competition for his signature and a fee of around £1m (Probably double if you’re Hull) but he’d be a sound investment for the future.
James Maddison – Midfielder – Coventry City – Age 18
The latest prospect to come through the impressive academy system at Cov – Maddison is a young midfielder with a lot of promise who has alledgedly already attracted interest from the Premier League.
He’s perhaps a little too young for Hull City at this point as Steve Bruce may want Championship ready players but there is no doubt he’d be a sensible investment. He’s really grounded and has a wise head on his shoulders but is a feisty player with good technical ability.
Scott Allan – Midfielder – Hibs – Age 23
Touted as prodigiously talented as a youngster at Dundee United, Allan has already made the move to England and struggled to break through at the top level. He joined WBA having just turned 21 but never made the first team instead taking in loan spells at Portsmouth (twice), MK Dons and Birmingham.
Since returning to Hibs, he’s shown again the talent he possesses and was easily the best player in the Scottish Championship last season despite Hearts runaway success and the presence of Rangers. He has the ability to make things happen with a run no-one sees or an unexpected pass. He has quick feet and a good football brain.
Whether he has the temperament for English football is questionable. He’s so far displayed elements of “big fish” syndrome but he’s at a better age to try again. He could be available for less than £300,000 which may well be a gamble worth taking.