This article is part of Football League World’s ‘What does the future hold’ series, this content strand is where we evaluate and subjectively debate a player’s future at their current club…
Hull City loanee Mallik Wilks could find himself in a very strange situation at the end of the campaign as both his parent club and loan club could well be set to face each other in either the Championship or League One.
Wilks had a sensational season last year whilst at Doncaster Rovers as helped fired them into a place in the Sky Bet League One play-offs under Grant McCann; he was one of the division’s top performers with his performances and attracted a lot of interest during the summer of 2019 with two clubs vying for his signature.
Former Doncaster boss McCann had swapped the red and white of Doncaster for the amber and black of Hull City in the summer and was keen to bring his former winger with him to the KCOM Stadium, but there was also interest from South Yorkshire side Barnsley. Former boss Daniel Stendel had clearly seen enough in the former Leeds United man to bring him into his group.
Wilks would go on to sign for Barnsley in the summer transfer window, but the Englishman struggled to force his way into the first team on a regular basis. His case for a place in the starting 11 was not helped when Stendel was relieved of his duties and replaced by Gerhard Struber. Overall Wilks made eight starts for the Tykes and a further seven appearances from the bench.
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After missing out on his man in the summer, McCann would finally unveil Wilks in a Hull City shirt, where he has been given a consistent run in the side. Since his arrival at the KCOM Stadium, he has made seven starts with another two substitute appearances and has partially rediscovered his form of last season with McCann seemingly understanding how to utilise him.
But what does the future hold for Wilks at the Tigers? Well his loan is set to expire at the end of the current Championship season and with many potential outcomes, it is unknown as to where he will be playing his football next season. His parent club are currently sat at the foot of the Championship table and are seven points behind his loan club in the quest for survival.
Should Barnsley be relegated and Hull stay in the second tier, McCann will surely want to sign Wilks on a permanent basis, but the real complications arise if both of the sides are relegated. As he is officially contracted to the Tykes until the summer of 2023, he will be expected to return to his parent club to help them claim instant promotion back to the Championship. The interesting element to that is that McCann understands the player and will be keen to bring him into the club on a full-time basis, but his hands may be tied when it comes to any potential fee for Wilks.
Wilks will face an important decision on his future come the end of the season as several scenarios could still play out. In the meantime, Wilks will be focussing on helping Hull stay in the Championship but will surely have one eye on his parent club and their situation before he comes to any conclusion on where he will be playing his football next season.