What A Difference A Week Makes for Hull City
Following a frustrating summer, with Fraizer Campbell, Marc Antoine Fortune, Bobby Zamora, and Habib Beye all rejecting moves to the Tigers, signings have progressed quite dramatically over the past week.
Firstly, we received news that we'd managed to hijack Seyi Olofinjana's £3m move from Stoke to Monaco, with the midfield player claiming that Hull's marina was just as nice as Monaco's, but the fish and chips were cheaper!
Then came news that we had finally secured the services of a striker, with Jozy Altidore joining us on a season long loan (with an option to buy), from Villarreal, a deal that was finalised yesterday, when his work permit was granted.
Following a week's trial, the club announced that it would be making a contract offer to Henri Camara, who obviously impressed Phil Brown in training, as he can't possibly have gauged his talents in 45-minutes we saw him play in a match. He's a free agent, having been released by Wigan, and with a wealth of experience, both internationally and in the Premier League, he should make a useful addition.
Yesterday, as news sites were reporting official confirmation of the Altidore switch, news also started to come though of an offer being accepted for Reading (and Ireland) left winger Stephen Hunt (above).
With Hungarian international Peter Halmosi having not lived up to expectations last season and Kevin Kilbane looking slower than a three-legged tortoise, it was a position that definitely needed to be strengthened. At a cost of £2.5m-3.5m (depending on which news site you believe), he looks good value, particularly as the release clause in his contract stands at £5.5m.
At the same time, news sites started to report that we've agreed terms for the permanent signing of Celta Vigo striker Kamel Ghilas, at just £1.5m, it looks great value for this Algerian international.
Obviously, there's work to be done before these last few deals go through and having been gazumped twice already this season, we know it's not a done deal, until those contracts are signed, but still, it's very encouraging.
Stephen Hunt has left the Irish training camp to come to Hull to finalise the deal and Ghilas is also expected to arrive shortly.
A week ago, the Hull City message boards were full of doom and gloom, obviously generated by the targets missed and the anticipated lack of activity, there's no such mood now.
We still desperately need a right back, as we currently have no right back at all (to anyone about to mention Bernard Mendy, don't, he's no more a Premier League right back than I am), most would suggest we need two, though this is perhaps a little optimistic. We need one signed before Saturday, or we'll be in trouble against Chelski.
In addition, we have still not yet used either of our two domestic loan spots, so there's still an option to bring in loan players. I think we'll look for a half-season loan on a central midfield player, possibly from one of the top four clubs, to use as cover until we hopefully see the injured Ian Ashbee and Jimmy Bullard return.
The mood has lifted, the squad is looking way better than last season and there's even a slim possibility that the bookies may improve our odds of survival. Again!
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