Hull City have suffered three straight defeats following their resounding 4-1 win at Preston North End on the opening day of the 2021/22 season, suggesting some business still needs to be done in the final knockings of this transfer window for the Tigers to feel confident about maintaining their second tier status this term.
Grant McCann’s men have operated admirably under transfer restrictions this summer with a maximum squad size of 25, and only being allowed to use money they have received from outgoings to recruit players.
Tom Huddlestone rejoined the club last week, previously having been a free agent, however with just over a week before the deadline, McCann still has a lot to ponder.
The Tigers welcome Scott Parker’s promotion pushing Bournemouth to the MKM Stadium this weekend, hoping to stop the rot.
With the deadline looming and recent results causing more doubts and anxieties, we look at two transfer dilemmas at the club with nine days to go in the window…
Sheffield United’s Tyler Smith is seemingly close to arriving on a loan deal, the 22-year-old scored ten times for Swindon Town last season but would take the squad to its maximum 25.
Therefore needing another outgoing to allow McCann to bring in another signing. A decision needs to made on Tom Eaves, the ex-Gillingham man would be an attractive proposition in third tier and he could be one to make way to strengthen other areas.
At the moment, Josh Magennis through the middle is one of the first names on the team sheet, the Northern Ireland international’s relentless work rate justifies that, however there is a lack of an alternative and competition for places with Eaves struggling to cut the mustard at the MKM Stadium.
Captain Richard Smallwood has not completed a match since the opening day and with Huddlestone’s minutes being micro managed as he gets up to speed, the Tigers are a little light in central midfield.
This issue has been exacerbated by an injury to key player George Honeyman with a lot of reliance on Greg Docherty in the middle of the park, as the games come thick and fast Honeyman’s absence and the lack of depth will become more obvious.
There might be some wriggle room at the back with youngsters Brandom Fleming and goalkeeper Harvey Cartwright potentially able to make a spot available for a new central midfielder, although it is more likely that the compromising circumstances mean the Tigers end the window with a very similar squad to what is currently at McCann’s disposal.