STEVE BRUCE believes new signing Chuba Akpom will bring “frightening ability” to Hull City after thanking Arsene Wenger for loaning the Yorkshire club a second Arsenal player inside a few days.
The 19-year-old striker yesterday followed fellow Gunners’ Academy graduate Isaac Hayden in joining the Tigers for the season.
Akpom, yet to score a senior goal, made headlines last month when he netted a hat-trick for Arsenal against a Singapore Select XI at the Barclays Asia Trophy and it was understood that Wenger wanted to keep the forward at the Emirates.
However, a change of mind allowed Bruce to nip in and bring Akpom north.
“I didn’t think Akpom would be available,” said the Hull chief, who could add a fifth signing before the weekend after Brentford yesterday waived a stipulation in Moses Adubajoh’s contract that said Hull had to wait 21 days to complete the full-back’s signing after matching a £3.5m buy-out clause.
“But I have always got on well with Arsene, he has always done me a turn. That relationship helps now and again.
“I am delighted with the two Arsenal boys. They are desperate to play. After watching him in a friendly, I know for a fact that the punters will enjoy watching Isaac.
“Chuba is someone who I like because of his ability. He can score a goal and has bags of potential. He is still a boy at 19 and we may have to nurse him a bit. But he has frightening ability. I know it is pre-season but he scored three for Arsenal’s first team the other week. That takes some doing.”
Bruce’s capture of Akpom and 20-year-old Hayden has taken his number of summer signings to four.
Adubajoh is expected to become a fifth, while Hull’s manager is also keen on bringing Brentford striker Andre Gray to the KC.
Dame N’Doye’s impending move to Trabzonspor after the Turkish club triggered a £2.5m buyout clause in his Hull deal means the need for a striker will only increase, especially as West Ham United target Nikica Jelavic and Abel Hernandez – who is being tracked by a couple of Italian clubs – have indicated their preference to leave following relegation.
On his rebuilding plans, Bruce, who could have Mo Diame back in September, added: “I decided after relegation, ‘Let’s start again and get a few younger players in’ because that helps out the experienced players.
“You want that blend. We couldn’t have started any better than the two lads from Arsenal. Sam Clucas has come in, too. It is a decent start but we’re by no means finished.”
Leeds United have completed the £1m capture of Stuart Dallas after also agreeing a severance package with Steve Morison. The 24-year-old Brentford winger has been reunited with former manager Uwe Rosler at Elland Road. Morison has re-joined Millwall on a free transfer.
The German head coach said: “Finally, we got our wide player.
“Stuart Dallas is a very exciting young player. Like the other signings we have made, he has his best years in front of him.
“He can play on the left and on the right. He can interchange positions, he is an intelligent player.”
Leeds, meanwhile, are set to receive a £500,000 cash windfall following Max Gradel’s £7m move to Bournemouth from St Etienne.
The Ivory Coast winger left Leeds in a £2m transfer that included a 10 per cent sell-on clause of any profit.
Barnsley have signed Birmingham goalkeeper Nick Townsend on a short-term youth loan.