Why Hull City should move for Mallik Wilks in January
According to Football Insider (h/t Hull Live), Hull City are weighing up a January bid for Barnsley winger Mallik Wilks, who had previously been linked with a move to the KCOM Stadium back in the summer.
The Tigers had a £1.2million bid accepted by Leeds United for the 21-year-old this past summer but the winger snubbed a move to East Yorkshire in favour of a switch to newly-promoted Championship outfit Barnsley. (h/t Hull Live)
Hull City boss Grant McCann was in charge of Doncaster Rovers in the previous campaign when Wilks bagged a staggering 16 goals and 12 assists in 55 appearances across all competitions in his loan spell from Leeds United to propel Rovers to the League One playoffs.
McCann was understandably keen to snap up the youngster after taking over the reins at the KCOM Stadium this past summer and while he failed in his pursuit of the 21-year-old back then, the Tigers are now set to make a renewed attempt to bring Wilks to East Yorkshire in January.
Born in Leeds, Mallik Wilks rose through the youth ranks of Leeds United and made his professional debut for the Whites against Sutton United in an FA Cup tie back in January 2017.
However, he found himself farmed out on loan to Accrington Stanley and Grimsby Town in League Two and Doncaster Rovers in League One before a lack of first-team opportunities at Elland Road prompted him to complete a permanent transfer to Barnsley.
The 21-year-old, though, has struggled to hit the ground running at Oakwell in the Championship this season, scoring only once in 15 appearances.
As a matter of fact, Wilks has failed to make a single matchday squad since Gerhard Struber succeeded Daniel Stendel as the new manager in November, with the Tykes playing eight games in that span of time.
As per the report, McCann has reiterated the fact that the Tigers will be looking to add more firepower to their attacking options during the mid-season trading period.
Jarrod Bowen, who is currently the club’s topscorer in the Championship, has contributed greatly to the Tigers’ overall goal tally so far, whilst fellow wide player Kamil Grosicki has also chipped in with some valuable goal contributions.
However, Hull City still need to add more depth to their attacking options to mount a serious push for promotion.
With Norbert Balogh’s switch to the KCOM Stadium turning into a massive disappointment due to fitness concerns, Tom Eaves only scoring 4 times so far and Josh Magennis being irregular, it is a no-brainer that the Tigers can certainly do with a bit more cover heading into the crucial second half of the campaign.
To put things into perspective, Mallik Wilks might not have the CV to come through the door at Hull City as an instant upgrade on the club’s existing attacking options but his versatility to play in multiple positions could offer McCann with some valuable cover.
Add to that the manager’s previous knowledge of the player’s skill set, having worked with him at Doncaster last term, and it’s easy to see that Wilks could establish himself as a useful squad player at the KCOM Stadium.
Fixtures will come thick and fast in the second half of the season as the race for the playoffs gradually heats up, and the arrival of Wilks would certainly add a lot more depth to City’s attacking options whilst also increasing competition for places.
The 21-year-old started his career as a striker but McCann converted him into more of an attacking winger during his loan spell at Doncaster last season, whilst Wilks has played multiple roles at Barnsley this term.
With that in mind, the versatile starlet would not only offer something different but also stake a claim for a No.10 role in the absence of Jon Toral, who is expected to be out of action for a few more weeks due to an injury.
Plus, of course, Wilks still has plenty of room for development at the age of 21 and McCann will be fancying his chances of maximizing his potential in the years to come.
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Having said that, Hull City should not hesitate to go all out in their pursuit of Mallik Wilks in January as they look to push on for a top-six finish in the Championship.