Loan moves will be key to Leonid Slutsky completing his Hull City jigsaw

New Hull City manager Leonid Slutsky wants a further five new signings before the end of August (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).New Hull City manager Leonid Slutsky wants a further five new signings before the end of August (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).
New Hull City manager Leonid Slutsky wants a further five new signings before the end of August (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).
MANAGER Leonid Slutsky is hopeful of landing 'one or two' new signings ahead of Hull City's Championship curtain-raiser at Aston Villa, but says that any prospective newcomers are unlikely to start at Villa Park.

The Tigers’ boss has confirmed that the club are in the market for five more first-team arrivals to boost a squad that is still palpably deficient in a number of areas following the sales of a number of leading players from last season.

So far, Hull have brought in three permanent additions in striker Fraizer Campbell, midfielder Kevin Stewart and centre-half Ondrej Mazuch, alongside Chelsea loanees Ola Aina and Michael Hector – with goalkeeper Callum Burton and forward Liam Edwards added to their development squad.

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Slutsky is the first to acknowledge that Hull still have plenty of work to do between now and the transfer deadline.

But equally he has pledged not to panic and rush through any deals, mindful that the fate of a number of targets at top-flight clubs is likely to become clearer towards the end of August.

On the prospect of signings ahead of the weekend trip to Steve Bruce’s Villa, Slutsky said: “Before Saturday, yes, maybe one or two. But we need five more. We have three more loan options and, absolutely, we will have five loan players.

“Maybe that is like the cherry on the cake at the end of the transfer window. There will be some good players who are not playing in the big teams.

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“Maybe we are waiting for one or two loan options at the end of the window. We want three loan players and then two more, either buys or free agents like Fraizer Campbell. We want five more altogether.

“We have a core and that is very important. I think now we have a good starting XI and we have played five matches together. For everybody that is coming in now, it will be very difficult to adapt quickly.

“I was nervous about the situation with (Michael) Hector, but now he has played one game against Ajax. One is better than zero. If some players come in, I will use the players who have trained the most with the team.”

Even accounting for the fact that Hull’s thin-looking squad is far from finalised, Slutsky admits that he is feeling a sense of excitement, albeit with some understandable nerves ahead of his first taste of competitive English football in Saturday’s televised game in the Midlands.

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His slight trepidation is likely to have been accentuated by his obvious need to replenish his squad and all the work that entails, alongside negotiating an August programme, which will see Hull face six league games in 21 days and potentially two cup-ties.

He said: “It is a very exciting time for me. We start the season in a few days, but in my life I cannot believe this situation.

“It is very exciting, but maybe I am a little bit nervous as well.

“I want the new players to adapt and every day we are talking about new players. It is not an easy time.

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“For me, it is the first time I have experienced this situation when you have a lot of gossip around each player (targets). Those conversations will also continue when we start the season.

“It is very strange and unreal for me.”

In terms of specific target areas, left-back is an obvious one following Andy Robertson’s move to Liverpool, with Slutsky mindful that the club do not have an experienced option on the left-hand side of defence, with one option being to switch right-back Ola Aina over to the left.

Meanwhile, the Russian has allayed fears that Abel Hernandez and Adama Diomande will miss the big kick-off, although Evandro is the most doubtful of the two.

He said: “He (Hernandez) is okay for the weekend. It is a small injury, nothing serious. He will be ready for Saturday.

“Diomande will also be ready, but with Evandro, we will see. Maybe not for the first match.”