Window Shopping: With the distance between his club and the relegation zone shrinking fast lately, Steve Bruce needed more striking power around the KC Stadium. As Hull did surprisingly well through the late summer and fall, they seemed only a few more goals from managing the task of staying up, which was the modest target all along.
So management did well to fetch in Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long from Everton and West Brom, respectively, reaching aggressively into the checking account, spending north of $20 million on the pair — a handsome sum for a smaller club as the Tigers.
Players In: Shane Long (West Brom, $11.4 million), Nikica Jelavic (Everton, $10.6 million), Elliott Kebbie (free)
Players Out: Tom Cairney (Blackburn, undisclosed), Eldin Jakupovic (Leyton Orient, loan), Gedo (Al Ahly, loan terminated), Aaron Mclean (Bradford, undisclosed), Cameron Stewart (Leeds, undisclosed), Conor Townsend (Carlisle, loan), Nick Proschwitz (Barnsley, loan), Danny Graham (Middlesbrough, ), Jake Hobbs (Nottingham Forest).
Prying Long from The Hawthorns was not easy, as Bruce and the club endured a drawn-out transfer saga. Hull made a big run at Long last summer and seemed to have an agreement before the deal fell through late. So, half a season later, the Irish international (pictured above) is finally in place on a three-and-a-half year deal.
By then, Jelavic had already been secured – and happily so, it would seem, having found himself down the pecking order of forwards at Goodison Park. Like Long, he was also signed to a three-and-a-half year deal, according to reports.
The pair have already paid dividends, proving to be quite a handful for Tottenham in their weekend debut for Hull (a 1-1 draw). Long (described by Bruce as his “crown jewel”) had the goal. On a feed from Jelavic, no less.
One thing could have helped make the period even more prosperous: Hull kicked the tires on luring Tom Ince from Blackpool but struggled to ever gain real traction on that one. (That’s the “minus” on the grade, on what could otherwise be called a grand transfer time for Bruce’s boys.)