McGregor a perfect catch for Tigers

Monday 1st July 2013 13:01

Allan McGregor: Hull City's new number one

Allan McGregor: Hull City's new number one

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Hull City FanZoner Gareth Jones believes Steve Bruce has signed the perfect number one in Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Since relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2009/2010 season, Hull City have struggled to nail down a permanent number one.

The club have made good use of the loan system to fill the space between the sticks in the Championship, though, with nine keepers filling the position during the last three seasons.

Despite successful cameos from Premier League youngsters Ben Amos (Manchester United) and David Stockdale (Fulham) in the promotion-gaining team led by Steve Bruce last season, the manager has always stated he can't rely on loans as a solution - especially in the Premier League.

Stockdale finished last season as the club's number one, albeit on a temporary contract. With the Fulham reserve keeper having performed to a high standard since Christmas time, it was automatically assumed that the club would look to turn the deal into a permanent transfer over the summer. Fulham seemed to have other ideas, though, as they slapped a high price tag on his head, forcing Bruce to look elsewhere for a shot stopper.

Since the season finished the press have linked the club with several keepers, with the well-publicised pursuit of Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel so far resulting in the Foxes knocking back numerous bids.

With Nigel Pearson's Leicester holding out for an offer of over £4million for the son of the Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel, it seems that the Tigers have walked away from the table for now and looked to chase other interests.

Bruce was determined to find a reliable number one, ideally with top-flight experience, and several names have cropped up in both the local and national papers.

Mark Schwarzer seemed a promising starting point, with the Australian international available on a free transfer after his contract at Fulham expired, but neither the club or the player have commented on the possibility.

Costel Pantilimon from Manchester City was the next name to crop up, with the tall Romanian stating he wants first-team football next season after warming the bench for too long, but the price will prove a stumbling block on this deal. Then we have the constant link to Vito Mannone of Arsenal, who has a very successful loan spell at the club two seasons ago and is another one who will be looking to be a number one for a top team next season, but again he may be too expensive an investment for City's owners this summer.

David Forde of Millwall was more a left-field option after a successful season last year, but his lack of top-level experience would put doubt in his ability to be first choice in the Premier League.

It seems after numerous offers on other keepers that Bruce has finally found his man in Allan McGregor, with Hull announcing his arrival on Tuesday.

The former Rangers man is believed to have cost £1.8m, after a season in Turkey playing for Besiktas.

With the financial demise of Rangers last summer and their demotion to the Scottish Third Division, McGregor felt it was time to leave the club for pastures new, and with a tentative interest from British clubs it was a move to Turkey that crossed the line first.

The Scottish number one is a perfect fit for the type of keeper Hull City will need in the Premier League.

He has experience at the very highest level, with European football and plenty of International games under his belt. He is also young enough for a goalkeeper at 31 and will fit straight into the strong British core of players that Bruce has built at his club.

Some people will have an opinion on him already cast from his days of trouble at Rangers and his issues whilst playing for Scotland a few years back, but he has now established himself as the first-choice keeper for his national team and it seems he now realises what it means to be a professional footballer.

In my opinion McGregor is a better option than Stockdale ever was; he has the experience of top flight football with Rangers, and his time in Turkey last season will have him looking forward to working with a British squad again - and Hull City certainly have team spirit in abundance.

With no real back-up keeper at the club to work alongside him, I would be very surprised if we don't see another signed, potentially on a free or possibly another young loanee to challenge McGregor.

You can follow Gareth on Twitter @shockshake - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too for links to all the latest blogs.

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