Why Hull City should keep hold of Tommy Elphick beyond next summer
Hull City have made a mediocre start to their Championship campaign, lying 19th in the table, two points clear of the drop zone. Nigel Adkins’ men have played some good games but they aren’t clinical enough in key areas to beat top teams in the division.
As a result, instead of looking toward promotion place, the Tigers are fighting for survival in England’s second-tier league. Things looked a bit alright in the past two games though, getting a goalless draw against leaders Norwich City, and beating Queens Park Rangers 3-2 away from home.
With the next big game coming away at Millwall, Hull need to make sure they put up a good shift there and aim for a mid-table place by the closing stages of this campaign. There haven’t been loads of heroes on the pitch for the Tigers, but one player really stands out from the rest – Tommy Elphick.
He is actually a loanee from Aston Villa, however, here’s why the KC Stadium-based club should keep hold of the centre-back beyond next summer:
Elphick’s quality too good at the back
The experienced Brighton-born defender has been one of the best players on the pitch, leading the back-line with grave expertise. He possesses an array of abilities to defend various types of situations. The 31-year-old’s versatility to be comfortable whether playing in a three at the back or four at the back is something very vital to a team like Hull.
Talking about some of defensive numbers of the season, he has won aerial duels at a rate of 5.4 per game, which is astonishing, to say the least. The interception average of 1.4 per match epitomises his propensity to read the game well and step up to stop attacks whenever required. He has also made 6.7 clearances from his own defensive area to clear ominous dangers.
Looking at those numbers we can just say Hull City would have even worse had it not been for Elphick playing for them this season. It is rare for a player coming on a loan to harness this kind of impact. Kudos to the man who is doing it, and he is proving Aston Villa’s decision to loan him out wrong.
Now, what the Tigers need to do is stay in the Championship and convince the Englishman stay at the KC beyond next summer. It is going to be hard but Adkins and his men must do that.
Stats Courtesy – Whoscored.com