It has been a deeply frustrating summer for Hull City and their new manager, Leonid Slutsky. A mass exodus of first team players has, for the second consecutive year, left the Tigers starting the new season with a threadbare squad. Meanwhile, the ruthless nature of the Championship has already started to take its toll, and a number of key players have picked up injuries.
Friday evening’s 4-0 demolition of Bolton, however, orchestrated by key man Kamil Grosicki and promising youngster Jarrod Bowen, has given fans hope. But will the Tigers, and their unpopular ownership, keep hold of the Polish international before the transfer window slams shut on Thursday? If they are to have any serious promotion ambitions this season, they have no choice but to.
The Tigers’ Key Man
Grosicki, the former Rennes man, was brought in by Marco Silva in January. He is one of only a few of last season’s first-team regulars left at the KCOM, with the likes of Harry Maguire, Tom Huddlestone, Eldin Jakupovic, Curtus Davies, Josh Tymon, Ahmed Elmohamady and Sam Clucas all leaving this summer. Rumours have circulated that the winger is also keen for a move, but this certainly hasn’t affected Grosicki’s performances, which have earned the £7 million-man praise from his new manager.
Grosicki’s man-of-the-match performance against a poor Bolton side on Friday highlighted just what an important player he can be. Scoring one goal and creating two, the Pole appears to have settled down and added much more consistency to his game. This is particularly apparent in terms of his final ball and finishing abilities – aspects of his performance which occasionally let him down last season.
Hull City’s unclear transfer policy
With Sam Clucas’ exit to Swansea, seemingly without the approval of Slutsky, who had previously announced that “the supermarket is closed”, still fresh in the memory, there are still concerns on the transfer front at the club. A well-publicised and deep-rooted mistrust between supporters and Hull City’s owners, the Allam family, has created a situation where very little in the way of communication is made between the club, local media and the supporters. In this vein, nothing comes as a surprise to Hull fans, who will not breathe easy until the transfer window is firmly shut.
Indeed, a cynic would also point to the arrival of a potential replacement in former Barcelona and Arsenal youngster Jon Toral, as well as a pending deal for Burton’s Jackson Irvine, as evidence that the club may cash in on Grosicki during the next few days. The likes of Burnley, Swansea and Newcastle have all been linked with the player affectionately nicknamed ‘Turbo’ in recent months, but a firm offer is yet to have been submitted, if reports are to be believed.
Despite a busy few days of last minute incomings expected at the KCOM, as Slutsky looks to bolster his squad ahead of the gruelling Championship winter, surely the best result the he can hope for this week is that no more players in the already threadbare squad are sold. If Grosicki takes to the pitch in a black and amber shirt on September 8th, along with the four of five new team-mates who are expected to join this week, the Russian will believe he has a chance of leading to Tigers back to the Premier League this season. If, on the other hand, Grosicki is added to the list of cash assets sold this summer, the manager could already have a decision to make on his own future at the club.
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