Monday, 27 July 2015

Hull City: Sam Clucas in, Robbie Brady out

Hull City are on the verge of signing Chesterfield winger Sam Clucas for around £1.3m.

Clucas was suggested as a budget buy for The Tigers in a blog I wrote last week. Evidence, if you needed it, that Steve Bruce is an avid reader!


Sadly the impending arrival of a versatile left-sided player signals the end of the Hull City career of Robbie Brady who it seems will be joining Norwich City for £7m. The two clubs have been butting heads over a price for the past month and an agreement has finally been reached that represents a fair price for a talented player who has only a year left on his contract.

Brady joined City in January 2013 for a fee that would eventually hit £2.5m after two previous loan spells from Manchester United. When he first arrived 18 months earlier he was a rarely effective show pony with obvious talent but no idea what to do with it. Since signing permanently for Steve Bruce he's matured as a footballer and taken on the responsibility of a key defensive role. Playing left-wing back demands stamina, concentration and attacking threat and he's provided all three. But for injuries, he would have been a star performer in the Premier League for the past two seasons.

He has room to improve, particularly his set pieces which are either woeful or exquisite with little in between. There's no doubt though that he'll get into attacking areas and create chances. Sadly those chances were too often wasted at the KC Stadium - if anyone even got on the end of the crosses.

Replacing a player of Brady's quality isn't easy but The Tigers have been watching Clucas for Chesterfield and have decided that he has the ability to step up to the Championship. He certainly looks a good fit for the role given that he's naturally left-footed, a winger primarily but with experience of playing left-back and as a second striker.

It would be foolish to dismiss his chances of making the grade too. Clucas was released by Leicester City at sixteen and then didn't break through at Lincoln City a couple of years later. He continued to pursue a career in football though and impressed at Glenn Hoddle's football academy in Spain enough to earn a move to Hereford.

He was then transferred to Mansfield and before making another step up last summer to Chesterfield. He won further admirers in League One and contributed hugely as Chesterfield made the play-offs -  playing 55 games in all competitions and bagging 12 goals.

Clucas represents a good investment at 24 years old and for less than a quarter of the Brady fee. There is no guarantee with any signing but given the epic failures of players who cost five-eight times the reported £1.3m - this one seems a comparatively safe bet.

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