Bruce needs to add craft to City

Monday 24th June 2013 15:24

David Bentley: Could provide the craft Hull need

David Bentley: Could provide the craft Hull need

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Hull City FanZoner Matty Honeyman welcomes Steve Bruce's quick action in the transfer market but believes he should move for David Bentley.

Sitting staring at the television in disbelief, seconds after Danny Haynes had equalised for Cardiff against City in the fourth minute of added time on the final day of the season, it's fair to say I didn't think this day would come.

But thanks to our friends down the M62 and particularly Ross McCormack, here we are, City are back in the promised land.

And so attentions turn to the all important subject of recruitment, to make sure we stay there. Fantastic contributions last season from the likes of Elmohamady, Brady, Quinn, Aluko, McShane et al ensured we reached this place, but it doesn't take a genius to recognise that we need to strengthen in certain departments to ensure we stay there.

Thankfully Steve Bruce has already begun searching for reinforcements, securing the signing of experienced Premier League centre-half Maynor Figueroa, and tabling bids for others, most notably Gary Hooper of Celtic.

As good as some parts of the side were last season, it was easy to see where City needed more quality, and that was down the spine of the team. Thankfully, we just about managed to get up with the team we had; now the summer break offers Bruce the chance to address this.

The addition of a solid goalkeeper, centre half, central midfielder and, of course, a goal scorer would strengthen an already decent squad and I believe allow us to compete in the top flight.

Let's look at these areas one by one.

Goalkeeper

For the past two seasons we have coped without a 'permanent' keeper. I'm not talking about when you played in the park as kid and the keeper could come running out with the ball, but the fact that our number one has been a loanee. Mannone, Gulacsi and Stockdale have stood between the posts with varying degrees of success, Stockdale ultimately helping us to promotion.

However, now is the time to sign a keeper permanently - this may come in the form of Allan McGregor with whom City have recently been linked.

McGregor would be a great addition, a seasoned international who has champions league experience and seems to want to move back to the UK after a couple of seasons in Turkey. Bringing him to City for a rumoured £2million would be a great bit of business.

Centre-back

At a risk of stating the bleeding obvious, the forwards we are going to face in the Premier League will be of a far higher calibre than those in the Championship.

As such we need to recruit a higher calibre of centre half than what we have at the moment. As mentioned previously this process has already begun with City's capture of Figueroa, but further reinforcements are also needed.

Although not my first choice the paper talk is that City are very close to completing the signing of Curtis Davies from Birmingham.

The Midlanders' player of the year last term is a former bright young thing who has yet to fully prove himself in the top flight. Various stints with West Brom and Aston Villa failed to work out, however, working under former centre-half Bruce may just be the thing that re-invigorates Davies' top flight career.

Midfield

If Bruce continues with 5-3-2, City will need to add some more craft to their midfield three. Meyler and Evans did sterling, combative work last season, and Quinn and Koren provided a bit of craft, but to compete this season we need more of it.

The only speculation for this position so far does not include a player that can be accused of having craft in Lee Cattermole.

Although I'd appreciate City signing a seasoned Premier League campaigner like the Sunderland man, we really need someone more like David Bentley. A player who is currently a free agent and would thrive being the fulcrum of team such as City.

Attack

City somehow got promoted last season without a recognised goal scorer, something that Mr Bruce appears to want to remedy as soon as possible, in the form of Gary Hooper.

Apparently City tabled a bid to Celtic for Hooper of £4million and were told in no uncertain terms where to go, although rumour has it that Hooper himself is keen to prove himself in the Premier League.

Concerns are that although he has a great record north of the border, will his goal scoring exploits transfer to the Premier League?

There is no doubting his eye for goal, but up against massively better defences will he be able to re-produce his exploits in the Premier League? Four goals in European competition last season may signify he can.

Summary

In summary I'd be more than happy if this lot stepped out for City against Chelsea on August 17: McGregor; Davies, Chester, Figueroa; Elmohamady, Meyler, Quinn, Bentley, Brady; Aluko, Hooper.

Whoever we end up with at the start of the season, I'm glad that Bruce has identified the deficiencies of last season and moved so quickly to address them.

If we can get the right people in, in the right positions, hopefully we can do enough to stay in the top flight for another season.

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