After being in 8th place back at the start of the year, Hull City’s disastrous 2019/20 campaign was brought to an end by a 3-0 defeat away to Cardiff City on the last day of the season. The Tigers finished bottom of a division for the first time since 1995/96 and will be competing in the third tier of English football for the first time in fifteen years come the start of September.
A fair few experienced heads have left the Tigers – even before the resumption of the 19/20 season. Jackson Irvine and Eric Lichaj were the shock departures, but Norbert Balogh, Marcus Maddison and Stephen Kingsley were the others to leave before June 19th. This brought about frustration from the fans as many felt the owners were limiting themselves to not have the squad depth to make sure the Tigers didn’t slip away into League One, and rightly so in hindsight.
Angus MacDonald also said his goodbyes to the City faithful, signing for Rotherham United to play in the Championship once again next season. Jordy De Vijs and Leo Da Silva are still Hull City players, but both are rumoured to be close to an exit.
Who’s come in?
Hull have surprised a fair few supporters with some shrewd signings. Festus Arthur signed towards the back end of last season from Stockport County, which gives City a promising young Centre Back. Hometown boy Lewie Coyle signed from Fleetwood Town alongside Josh Emmanuel from Bolton Wanderers. Both are players with League One experience, which is what the Tigers will need desperately this season in order to stop the rot and become competitive once again to halt their slide down the divisions.
One man who could help with this is Richie Smallwood. The ex-Blackburn Rovers midfielder is a no-nonsense, tough tackling leader – which is what Hull City missed in the middle of the park towards the back end of last season, with only George Honeyman showing anything promising in midfield. Having barely played for Rovers last season, Smallwood will be itching to get back out there and kickstart his career in a black and amber shirt.
Who else do they need?
If you ask Hull City fans, they will give you a dozen names. However, it is clear that central defence is an area of concern, with only Reece Burke and Ryan Tafazolli nailed on to start next season. Jordy De Vijs’s future may lie elsewhere, with LA Galaxy rumoured to be in for the City captain.
Fans have also asked questions about a goalkeeper, with George Long having no real competition for the number one jersey at the KCOM. However, the biggest worry is a striker. Tom Eaves proved he could do it for Gillingham the season before last, but has struggled so far for form. Josh Magennis’ work rate cannot be ignored, but his goal scoring form is not great either. A proven goal scorer at League One level then, is what Grant McCann may look to recruit before the season kicks off in less than three weeks time.