Two years ago the Tigers season collapsed from play-off contenders at the turn of the year to relegated at the end of the campaign. The biggest factor was the disastrous deadline-day decision to sell wingers Kamil Grosicki and particularly Jarrod Bowen.
Since Bowen’s departure, Hull-born Keane Lewis-Potter has emerged as the club’s talismanic forward player, usually playing in the left of a front three, but reverting to wing-back since a recent change of formation which has brought four wins and two draws in the last six games for the relegation-threatened Tigers.
Now there are reports the Hammers, Leicester City and two other Premier League clubs are considering bids for the 20-year-old. With Hull on the verge of a takeover, the hope will be they are better able to keep hold of their prize assets this time. If he does go, they need to learn the lessons of 2019-20 and do the business early enough to reinvest.
Bowen was the club’s 17-goal top-scorer in January 2020, but although a transfer had been long-anticipated the move to West Ham only went through after the transfer deadline, giving Hull no opportunity to spend the £20m fee.
Lewis-Potter scored 10 more Championship goals in 2019-20 then any other Hull player - and second was Grosicki, who joined West Bromwich Albion earlier that day. Tom Eaves scored five.
Bowen has 11 goals in 63 Premier League appearances for West Ham.
Lewis-Potter is this season’s top-scorer with a more modest five in all competitions, having hit 13 when Hull won the League One title last season. He was frozen out of the starting XI last autumn amid rumours he was on the verge of triggering a contract clause. After a long stand-off, he agreed an extension until 2023.
Whether the new deal contains a buy-out clause is unclear, but it is believed Hull turned down an £8m offer from Premier League Brentford in the summer.
Turkish media tycoon Acun Ilicali is hoping to complete a buyout of the East Yorkshire club in time for the January transfer window and prospective director of football Tan Kesler was at Saturday's 2-2 draw with Bristol City.