Things seem to be getting worse and worse for newly-promoted Hull City. Promotion to the Premier League did not stop boss Steve Bruce walking out of the Humberside club last month.
It now looks like the Tigers are set to lose another player in central midfielder Mohamed Diame.
Newcastle has activated the £4.5million clause in the midfielder’s contract. It is being reported that the midfielder had a medical at the north east club on Tuesday.
It would be yet another blow for the Tigers, who could start next season without a manager.
To say that Hull are not exactly enjoying the best preparations to life back in the Premier League would be an understatement.
No boss before the start of the season
The Tigers have had an approach rejected for Wales boss Chris Coleman by the Welsh FA. The former Fulham boss guided the Dragons to Euro 2016, before guiding his side to the semi-finals of the competition and a defeat by eventual champions Portugal.
The Tigers have been linked with numerous bosses this summer. The most recent have been former Everton chief Roberto Martinez and former Watford boss Gianfranco Zola. Current caretaker Mike Phelan has stated that he would like the job on a permanent basis.
The 53-year-old was Steve Bruce’s assistant and has been a highly-rated first team coach for a long time. However, he has no managerial experience, except a short spell as caretaker boss at Norwich in 2015.
Given his lack of experience appointing Phelan would be a gamble for the Tigers. However, from the media reports, it seems the current Hull owners are not overly keen on spending money this summer.
That was claimed to be one of the reasons for Bruce’s exit a few weeks ago. He wanted to add to his squad and the owners would not allow it, although was never actually confirmed.
Hull running very low on players
Hull is powerless to prevent Diame from leaving the club, despite having offered the midfielder a contract extension. It looks unlikely he will sign judging by the fact that he was having a medical at Newcastle.
The 29-year-old was a key player for the Tigers last season, scoring ten times, including the only goal in the Championship play-off final victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
Diame’s exit would leave Hull with just 12 fit senior players ahead of their return to the top-flight. Injuries to the likes of Michael Dawson, Allan McGregor, Moses Odubajo and Alex Bruce means the first team squad looks very thin on the ground.
The club from Humberside has yet to strengthen their squad, which needed the play-offs to make it to the top-flight in the first place. The lack of fresh additions and the number of injuries within in the squad does not bode well for the future.
Favourites for relegation next season
Hull City are the favourites for relegation from the Premier League next season at odds of 4/6. Those odds are a very good reflection of the state of the team at the moment. The task of keeping Hull City in the Premier League seems like a task that even Ethan Hunt would believe is impossible.
Leicester showed last season that anything can happen in the top-flight, but Hull are probably the least prepared promoted team for life in the Premier League ever.
Fellow promoted club Burnley have not bought wildly, but they have a good continuity in their team and in Sean Dyche a shrewd boss.
Hull needed to strengthen their team before the glut of injuries, so to say the Tigers squad is weak heading into next weekend’s opening game against champions Leicester would be under-cooking it.
It would take a brave or foolish man to take the vacancy at Hull City this summer. If the new man can keep the Tigers in the Premier League next season then they will be a major contender to win Manager of the Year, such is the state of the Tigers team at the moment.
The jubilation of the Hull fans at promotion in May will have turned into anger and confusion over Bruce’s exit and the club’s lack of transfer activity this summer. Something tells me they may be in for a long season.
Can Hull City survive the drop in the new season?