We are reaching the end of this season and, inevitably, teams around Europe and worldwide are preparing themselves for the summer transfer window. The focus for many will be on exciting prospects and young talents from around the globe. Here is a list of 13 talented African footballers who are going to be high on […]
In the final weeks of the season, Hull City’s 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Sunday confirmed the Tigers’ unwanted status as the final team relegated to the Championship.
When manager Marco Silva took over in January, Hull were bottom of the table with just three wins from 20. Soon after Silva’s arrival, £10m summer signing Ryan Mason fractured his skill in a clash with Gary Cahill and leading scorer Robert Snodgrass was sold to West Ham for £10.2m at the end of the January transfer window. Rather embarrassingly, Snodgrass still ended the season as Hull’s top scorer with a meagre seven goals.
The Tigers lasted just one season back in England’s top flight, so which players will look to avoid playing in the Championship next season?
Hull’s player of the season had a stellar debut campaign in the Premier League at the centre of defence. Since Silva’s arrival, the 24-year-old has impressed and sparked interest from Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton, according to reports.
Maguire put contract talks on hold until the club’s future was determined. He declared: ‘Obviously every footballer wants to be playing in the Premier League, myself included,’ and with Hull’s relegation confirmed it seems almost inevitable that the Englishman will depart.
Anfield seems the most plausible destination. The Reds have made scant improvement defensively since Jurgen Klopp took charge in October 2015, and the exacting endeavour of playing in Europe next season means Klopp needs to add some depth to his squad.
Maguire wants to play in the Premier League, has exciting potential, and can challenge Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip for first-team football.
Likewise with Everton, Maguire would have to push for a starting spot but could learn many a thing under the tutelage of Ronald Koeman and from club captain Phil Jagielka.
Tottenham seems to be the least likely destination considering Spurs’ abundance of talent at the back, and boss Mauricio Pochettino would have to incorporate Maguire as a rotational player, not a first-team regular.
Possible destinations: Liverpool, Everton, Spurs
Scotland international Andrew Robertson has been one of few positives for the Tigers and is reportedly set to join Liverpool as soon as the summer transfer window opens.
With one year left on his current contract, Robertson’s dynamic performances from left-back have incentivised the Reds to move in for Hull’s prized defender.
Not only capable defensively, Robertson is joint-second in assists this season for the Tigers, amassing three in all competitions. His accurate crossing and set-pieces are to be admired, along with his pace and adequacy at both ends of the pitch.
For Liverpool, Robertson is the perfect fit. Captain James Milner has been utilised as a left-back for most of the season, while Alberto Moreno has only started twice this campaign.
Robertson would add some reliability to Klopp’s fragile defence, and enhance the threat down Liverpool’s left flank.
Possible destinations: Liverpool
Embarrassing end to the season but big thanks for all the support throughout the season. 👍🏻⚽️ pic.twitter.com/VhoH0C0IxH
— Sam Clucas (@samclucas) May 21, 2017
The 26-year-old has been in inspiring form since Silva took over in January and was one catalyst that propelled Hull on their incredible home run.
The Tigers secured 19 points out of a possible 21 at the KCOM Stadium from Silva’s first 7 home games, and Clucas’ man-of-the-match performance in a 2-0 win against Watford was a standout.
After controlling the ball on his chest, Clucas volleyed in from 25 yards out to send the home crowd into raptures.
The technique evident in such a mesmeric strike will surely have caught the eye of many Premier League clubs.
The Englishman was linked with Newcastle in January, and his tenacity and tirelessness would be useful to any team looking for an industrious box-to-box midfielder.
Along with Newcastle, Leicester, West Brom and Stoke are also reportedly interested.
Possible destinations: Newcastle United, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion
Words: Eliot Eagle