A mass exodus is already starting to unravel at Hull City following their relegation from the Premier League, and they are already finding themselves with massive gaps in their squad, less than three weeks into the close season.
Manager, Marco Silva is among the list of departures which includes the released, Alex Bruce and Curtis Davis who joined Derby on Wednesday, along with Andrea Ranocchia who’s loan deal expired.
Harry Maguire and Michael Dawson remain at the club for the time being, but the former is odds-on to leave the club and remain in the Premier League, leaving Hull with just one of their regular centre halves from over the past few years, and much inexperience in the way of back-up.
The incoming Leonid Slutsky, or whoever is to be in charge of team affairs, are likely to have a modest budget and they could look to an out-of-favour centre half, with both Championship and Premier League experience for a reasonable fee.
Aston Villa’s Tommy Elphick is someone who fits that bill perfectly, and amid interest from city rivals Birmingham, Hull could hijack any potential deal and would set themselves in poll position, as it is likely Villa would prefer to sell to the Humberside club.
Elphick found himself on Villa’s bench for the majority of 2017, despite being touted as a massive coup in his move from Bournemouth the previous August.
The 28-year-old captained Bournemouth to the Championship title in 2015, and played 12 times in the Cherries’ subsequent Premier League campaign, but did not have the best of times when at the heart of the Villa defence last season.
Elphick may be available for a moderate sum, and is certainly a capable squad player – if he could recreate his form of his Championship winning exploits, then he could well slot into the back four, costing a fraction of the price they will potentially sell Harry Maguire for.