Why Bilal Basacikoglu could be a shrewd signing for Hull City in January
According to claims from Dutch outlet ELF Voetbal, as relayed by the Hull Daily Mail, Hull City are among a host of English clubs monitoring winger Bilal Basacikoglu, who is currently a free agent following the termination of his contract with Turkish top-flight outfit Kayserispor last week.
As per the report, the 24-year-old had a contract at Kayserispor until 2021 but the Turkish side severed ties with the winger due to their financial difficulties, meaning that Basacikoglu is available for free.
The Turk’s availability on a free transfer has put Hull City on red alert, although the Tigers are expected to face stiff competition from Premier League duo Norwich City and Leicester City in their pursuit of the former Turkish U-21 international. (ELF Voetbal h/t Hull Daily Mail)
Born in The Netherlands to a Turkish father and a Moroccan mother, Bilal Basacikoglu shot to prominence with Heerenveen in the Dutch Eredivisie and subsequently clocked up over 100 appearances for Feyenoord, scoring 7 goals and registering 19 assists, before completing a move to Kayserispor in the summer of 2018.
Essentially a right-footed wide player by trade, Basacikoglu’s preferred position is on the left-hand side of the pitch, although he has illustrated the versatility to operate down the right flank and also through the middle as an attacking midfielder.
Meanwhile, Hull City currently sit 14th in the standings after a rather inconsistent first half of the campaign under Grant McCann, who will surely need to find a way to improve on a tally of 8 wins from 22 games in the coming months to fire his team back into the playoff mix.
The Tigers, though, are still only five points adrift of the top-six in the division and some impressive results in the coming months could be enough for them to turn the tables in their favour, with half the season still left to be played.
Star winger Jarrod Bowen, who has bagged 15 goals and 4 assists in the EFL Championship so far, has single-handedly contributed to nearly half of the club’s overall goal tally which currently stands at 34.
Veteran Pole, Kamil Grosicki, has also chipped in with 5 goals and 4 assists, with Hull City largely relying on their influential wide attacking duo to deliver the goods in front of goal. Josh Magennis and Tom Eaves have shared six goals among them but the likes of Grosicki and Bowen have been instrumental in the Tigers’ surge for promotion.
With that in mind, however, Hull City presently face the risk of losing both Bowen and Grosicki at the end of the ongoing campaign, with the duo out of contract at the KCOM Stadium in 2020. The Tigers, of course, have the option of extending Bowen’s stay by a further 12 months (h/t Hull Daily Mail) but there is no such provision in Grosicki’s contract.
Moreover, with Premier League clubs Newcastle United and Aston Villa weighing up bids for Bowen ahead of the January window (h/t Hull Daily Mail), the East Yorkshire outfit could find it difficult to keep hold of their star man should be a tempting offer be put on the table by the potential suitors.
To put things into perspective, it is clear that Hull City will need to reshape their wide attacking options in the near future and links with Bilal Basacikoglu suggest that the Tigers have already started planning for life without some of their key players.
Hull City have the option to complete a permanent deal for Everton loanee Josh Bowler next summer but Basacikoglu looks like a decent option who could possibly help the Tigers cope without the likes of Bowen and Grosicki in the coming days while also adding some valuable depth to the squad.
In fact, the Tigers should look to pounce on the opportunity to sign the Turk regardless of what the future holds for Bowen and Grosicki, given his availability on a free transfer.
Basacikoglu doesn’t really boast of a prolific record in his career so far but at 24, he still has lots of time to push on for greater heights, and as a free agent in the market, he is certainly worth a punt for the Tigers.
All in all, Hull City completing a move for Bilal Basacikoglu during the mid-season trading period could be a shrewd piece of business and one that could possibly go on to pay rich dividends for Grant McCann.