Why Hull City should offer Jackson Irvine a new deal
According to the Hull Daily Mail, Hull City are set to embark on a contract renewal drive during the upcoming international break, with the report suggesting that the Tigers are keen to secure the long-term futures of some of their key players.
Hull City manager Grant McCann wants the Tigers to get on the front foot with their transfer business, with several of the first-team mainstays not contracted to the club beyond the end of the ongoing season. (h/t Hull Daily Mail)
Star wing duo of Kamil Grosicki and Jarrod Bowen, who have been amongst the most influential players at the KCOM Stadium over the past couple of campaigns, are both out of contract in 2020, although the Tigers have the option to extend Bowen’s stay by a further 12 months.
Grosicki’s situation is a bit complicated given his current wages but with captain Eric Lichaj, vice-captain Jackson Irvine and defensive midfielder Kevin Stewart all set to be free agents next summer, it is not difficult to see why the Tigers are keen to sort out the futures of some of their star players.
Of course, keeping hold of Bowen with a new long-term contract should be a top priority for Hull City given that he is arguably the team’s key outlet for goals and assists up top.
However, the likes of Irvine, Stewart and Lichaj are amongst some of the most established players at the KCOM Stadium and undoubtedly, a big part of Grant McCann’s plans moving forward in the Championship.
All the aforementioned players have started regularly in the league for the Tigers this term and truth be told, they can ill-afford to lose out on any of them come the end of the season. To that end, a contract renewal drive is the need of the hour and vice-captain Jackson Irvine should be one of the first names on the priority list.
The 26-year-old Australian international has started each of Hull City’s first ten games in the Championship this term and has caught the eye with his commanding and industrious displays in the middle of the park despite the Tigers’ lacklustre start to the campaign.
Irvine has been rotated between box-to-box and central attacking roles by McCann and while 1 goal in 10 outings is hardly an impressive tally, the versatile ace has contributed a lot with his superior all-round game.
As per whoscored, the Socceroos star has impressed with his ability to break up the play and win possession back for his team, averaging 2.1 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 2.6 aerial duels and 1.5 clearances per game in the Championship, while an average of 1.4 key passes speaks volumes of the creative edge in his style of play.
Formerly of Celtic, the energetic and powerful midfield maestro made his move to Hull City in 2017 following a 10-goal season at Burton Albion in the 2016-17 campaign and has already racked up 84 appearances for the Tigers in all competitions till date, scoring 8 and setting up another 9 in the process.
Irvine, who has 31 caps for Australian national team, continues to be one of the key cogs in the wheel for Hull City and at 26, he still has plenty of years remaining in his prime, meaning that it would be a shame for the Tigers to let him leave for free next summer.
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It is imperative to say that keeping hold of their star players is a necessity if Hull City are to challenge for promotion back to the Premier League in the near future and Jackson Irvine is certainly one of them, given that he has established himself as a trusted lieutenant under new manager McCann.
All in all, Hull City securing the long-term future of the Socceroos star is an absolute no-brainer and definitely a step in the right direction.