Rotherham United striker Tom Eaves recalls his time with Hull City

Tom Eaves says he left Hull City on good terms despite the club’s hierarchy over-ruling coach Shota Arveladze’s request to re-sign him.

In three seasons in East Yorkshire he fell one short of a half-century of starts for the Tigers. With a further 59 substitute appearances, he scored 18 goals.

The targetman had a cult following on the terraces and claims coach Arveladze asked Hull to trigger their option to extend his contract by 12 months.

But with chairman/owner Acun Ilicali and those around him looking to significantly upgrade the squad, Eaves was allowed to join Rotherham United on a free transfer.

Hull City's Tom Eaves - pictured in action for Hull battling with Preston North End's Sepp van den Berg at the MKM Stadium last season. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA

There is no bitterness from the Merseysider.

“I’m kind of happy with the way it finished,” says the 30-year-old. “I ended up playing a lot of games when the new manager came in and I had a really good relationship with Shota.

“He spoke to me a few weeks before the end of the season and said I was one of the players he wanted to stay but the day before the last game of the season (vice-chairman) Tan Kesler pulled me and said the recruitment team and the owners had their own idea, which is fair enough.

“The fans were always fantastic with me and I always heard them singing my name so, hopefully, I’ll get a good reception when I go back this season. I wish nothing but the best for the club.”

Hull City boss Shota Arveladze was keen for striker Tom Eaves to stay. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Ilicali bought the club in late January and it always seemed likely this would be a summer of overhaul. Midfielders Tom Huddlestone and Richie Smallwood, who has joined Bradford City, were also released and although the options in George Honeyman and Mallik Wilks’s contracts were triggered, the former was sold to Millwall and the latter looks likely to join Sheffield Wednesday if they increase their offer.

The club have long said Allahyar Sayyadmanesh’s half-season loan from Fenerbahce will be made permanent but, like Adama Traore’s free transfer from Hatayspor, official confirmation is still pending.

Hull have shown ambition by signing 65-cap Turkey midfielder Ozan Tufan from Fenerbahce for £4m, plus centre-back Tobias Figueiredo from Nottingham Forest. Yesterday Chelsea goalkeeper Nathan Baxter finalised a second season-long loan, with an option to buy.

They been linked with striker Haji Wright and Vedat Muriqi, plus Leeds United’s Tyler Roberts, but are thought to be working on other targets.

With Ilicali’s arrival leading to the sacking of then-coach Grant McCann, his first few months could have been disruptive, but Eaves did not find it that way.

“There was a lot of hearsay about him coming to the club in the first place and fortunately when he did come I’d just broken into the team,” he reflected. “Shota came in and worked with me quite a bit and I really enjoyed playing with him.

“I only ended up starting 12 games last season, but I ended up scoring five. There were other times when I was coming on for 10 minutes here and there, which is always difficult but the games I participated in, I was pretty pleased with on a personal level.”

Hull’s October Championship match at home to Birmingham City has been pushed back 24 hours to Sunday because of Hull Fair.