Jan 17, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT
On Friday Hull City finally wrapped up the transfer of long-term target Shane Long, as the Republic of Ireland striker signed a three-and-a-half-year deal after the Tigers splashed out $10 million for his services.
Long, 26, almost joined Hull during the summer transfer window but the deal from West Brom fell through at the last minute, but now he joins up with Nikica Jelavic to form the Tigers’ new-look forward line for the rest of the 2013-14 season and beyond.
After heavy criticism for his plans to change the clubs name from Hull City AFC to Hull Tigers, Egyptian owner Assem Allam is certainly putting his money where his mouth is as he aims to make Hull a top ten Premier League side.
The acquisitions of Long and Jelavic prove manager Steve Bruce knows exactly where he wanted to strengthen in the transfer window, as up front was the man priority and Allam has duly splashed over $20 million to bolster the Tigers’ attacking options. With Jelavic and Long in tandem, any lingering doubts over Hull being sucked into a relegation battle should be extinguished as the side’s sturdy defense will now be complemented by two potent goalscorers.
Both are shrewd buys, as Long is a predator in and around the box who has scored 24 PL goals for the Baggies and Reading across five seasons in the top-flight. That might not sound like a lot, but at both clubs Long hasn’t had the service and has often fed off scraps. At Hull crosses from the likes of Almo Elmohamady will be exactly what Long and Jelavic will be hoping to get on the end of.
Jelavic has had a barren spell in front of goal for Everton, despite scoring 11 goals in 16 games during his first season at Goodison, and has seen himself out of the team after the emergence of Romelu Lukaku this season. But with his burning desire to make Croatia’s World Cup squad this summer, Jelavic will be fired up to bang the goals in at Hull and is looking forward to playing regularly once again. The 28-year-old will prove a superb buy for Hull, and this week the Tigers have impressed with the signings of two players who can push them on to the next level, as they strive to become an established PL side fighting for a top ten spot.
Together, Long and Jelavic could become the kings of the KC Stadium.
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