Thursday, February 2, 2023

Hull City Linked With Versatile Defender: Do They Really Need Him?

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Hull City are going through a tough time since they confirmed their Premier League return by winning the Championship playoff against Sheffield Wednesday. Their manager for the last four years, Steve Bruce left the club at a crucial time just before the start of the season due to disputes with the owners for their lack of ambition. You expect a newly-promoted club to be highly active in the transfer market bolstering their squad but Hull City are yet to spend a single penny and had just 13 fit senior players for their season opener.

Probably most people had already started writing off the Tigers when the new boys of the Premier League shocked the world with a 2-1 win against Premier League holders Leicester City. With caretaker boss Mike Phelan in charge, Hull City showed that they will do whatever it takes to secure their Premier League status at the end of the season. But, the need reinforcements for that and the area that is craving for additions the most is the defence.

Sky Sports claim that the Tigers are in advanced talks with former Watford and Crystal Palace defender Adrian Mariappa. The 29-year-old left Crystal Palace this summer following his contract expiry and is up for grabs for absolutely free. However, we feel that this deal won’t add too much quality to the Hull City backline.

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 22: Adrian Mariappa #19 of Jamaica celebrates their 2-1 win over the United States of America during the 2015 CONCACAF Golf Cup Semifinal match between Jamaica and the United States at Georgia Dome on July 22, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA – JULY 22: Adrian Mariappa #19 of Jamaica celebrates their 2-1 win over the United States of America during the 2015 CONCACAF Golf Cup Semifinal match between Jamaica and the United States at Georgia Dome on July 22, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

We have seen how poor Crystal Palace fared defensively last season and despite everyone apart from Scott Dann not being able to impress, Mariappa failed to get too much playing time at Selhurst Park. Hull City need players who can break into the first team offering an enormous quality but a deal for the Jamaican international would be a signing just for the sake of it.

The current set of central defenders at the KC Stadium are Michael Dawson, Alex Bruce, Curtis Davies and Harry Maguire and we are struggling to see how Mariappa is an upgrade over any of the four defenders. Yes, the 29-year-old can feature as a right-back as well as a centre-back but versatility should never be preferred over quality (Although they are a bit short on numbers at the moment).

Mariappa is a proven failure in the Premier League having being relegated twice with Watford and Reading and then playing just a bit-part role at Crystal Palace. Hull fans have every right to be on cloud nine at the moment after their impressive winning start against Leicester City but let’s face the fact that their team lacks quality in every area and still look favourites for facing a drop at the end of the season. Players like Mariappa won’t change the equation. Hull City need to learn from the examples set by Boro this summer and move for quality players or else they will have to regret it.

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