Grant McCann hails Hull City recruitment as Alfie Jones deal edges closer

Hull City coach Grant McCann has praised Lee Darnbrough’s “excellent” recruitment this summer, but hopes it will not finish with Southampton centre-back Alfie Jones’s arrival.
Hull City manager Grant McCann.Hull City manager Grant McCann.
Hull City manager Grant McCann.

The Tigers could lose Leonardo Da Silva Lopes after McCann admitted yesterday the Portuguese wants to leave, but buying Richie Smallwood and Greg Docherty covers that.

Jones is close to finalising a permanent signing, the 22-year-old effectively replacing Ryan Tafazolli, who left for Wycombe Wanderers on Wednesday.

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Head of recruitment Darnbrough has also signed defenders Josh Emmanuel, Lewie Coyle and Festus Arthur, and made Mallik Wilks’s loan from Barnsley permanent.

“I think it’s been excellent so far and we want to make it better,” said McCann of the recruitment. “We also want to add more to the forward area and the midfield. Hopefully we can have them done before Gillingham (Hull’s opening League One game, a week tomorrow).”

Of Jones, McCann said: “He will give us good strength in depth. He’s had two very good loans, one in Scotland and one in England. He brings a good wealth of experience of two different leagues.

“It’ll be a coup for us because there were a few clubs after him.”

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Jones did not play senior football for the Saints, but had loans at St Mirren in 2018-19, and Gillingham last term.

McCann now has a better blend between left- and right-footed centre-backs, and experience and youth with youngsters Jacob Greaves and Sean McLoughlin involved in tomorrow’s squad for the League Cup opener at Sunderland.

“We feel as if we’ve two very good young ones underneath de Wijs (and Reece Burke),” commented McCann. “We had a bit of an imbalance with four left-sided centre-backs and two right-sided. (With Jones) I’ll have three right-sided ones and three left-sided ones and every single one of them’s champing at the bit.”

De Wijs lost his place at the end of last season and the captaincy when Smallwood signed, but McCann says he is committed to the club, unlike Lopes, who has only just started pre-season training after illness.

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“Jordy’s been first-class since he’s come back,” he said. “He’s contracted for this year and another year’s option.

“Leo wants to leave, he made that very clear to me at the end of the season. There’s been a couple of offers for him, but not to the valuation of the club.”

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