Hull turn to lower-league bully to boost striking stocks

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Scoring goals was a difficult proposition for Hull last season, as they ended the campaign as the fourth-worst Premier League team in front of goal.

The captures of Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long in January of that term were meant to alleviate those problems and while the eight goals the pair scored between them was hardly a miracle cure, it was believed that a full season together this year would greatly benefit Steve Bruce’s outfit.

That plan may as well have been thought up by Baldrick though, as Southampton – and their heaps of cash – lured the Irishman away from the KC Stadium.

The departure leaves the former Manchester United captain searching for a new recruit up front and Bruce looks to have resorted to the Championship to find him.

Having been rebuffed by Danny Welbeck at his former club, Bruce reportedly prefers the cut of Jordan Rhodes’ jib more than that of Sunderland man Steven Fletcher and Watford goal-getter Troy Deeney.

Rhodes has proven himself to be a ruthless Football League forward during his career, having struck 73 times in just 124 league outings for Huddersfield before adding 51 more goals to his tally in 89 games for current club Blackburn.

As yet, no Premier League side has tested the Scot’s ability to find the net in the top flight although plenty have thought about it.

It looks likely that Hull, who are 2/1 for a top-half finish after their opening day win over QPR, will break that trend with a bid of £12 million for the 24-year-old.

Having seen recent acquisition Robert Snodgrass dislocate a kneecap on his Tigers debut, Bruce is acutely aware that new signings will be needed before the end of the transfer window.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.