Why Norbert Balogh could prove to be a smart signing for Hull City
According to the Hull Daily Mail, Hull City have completed the signing of striker Norbert Balogh on a one-year deal, with the 23-year-old putting pen to paper on professional terms at the KCOM Stadium as a free agent.
The Hungarian international was a free agent following his release from Italian club Palermo back in August and the Tigers decided to offer him a new lease of life.
Balogh, who has played top-tier club football in Italy, Hungary and Cyprus, arrived at East Yorkshire for a trial during the international break and Hull City boss Grant McCann decided that he was worthy of a deal, keeping in mind the club’s ongoing crisis in striking options up top. (h/t Hull Daily Mail)
The 23-year-old played for his local club in Hungary before joining the youth setup of national heavyweights Debrecen in 2006, where he spent eight years rising through the ranks before turning professional in 2014.
After spending time on loan at Letavertes in the lower divisions of Hungarian football in his first season, Balogh caught the eye with several impressive performances for Debrecen in the Europa League qualifiers in the 2015-16 campaign, prompting Serie A club Palermo to complete a deal for him in 2016.
However, the Hungarian’s spell in Italy proved to be a rather ill-fated one. Balogh made a handful of appearances for Palermo in the Serie A over the next couple of campaigns, as the club eventually suffered relegation to the second-tier at the end of the 2016-17 season.
Their expulsion from the Serie B due to financial reasons this summer meant that the 23-year-old was released along with a number of other players.
The towering 6ft. 6-inch centre-forward, who is also capable of playing out wide, represented Hungary at all youth levels from U-18 to U-21 before making his senior international debut back in 2017.
Balogh spent the previous campaign on loan at APOEL Nicosia in Cyprus but, given his lack of involvement in the build-up to the current season, the Hungarian is likely to take some time to regain his fitness levels before he can be considered for selection as a starter in the Championship.
To put things into perspective, it is easy to see that Hull City have done the right thing by offering Norbert Balogh a deal and McCann will be expecting the 23-year-old to provide more cover and increase competition for places up top.
Balogh’s time at Palermo ended prematurely due to unforeseen and rather unfortunate circumstances but he continues to be a really talented player with loads of potential and his arrival at the club could go a long way towards helping the Tigers sort out a nagging problem in a key area of the pitch.
Hull City were short of striking options following the departure of Nouha Dicko on a season-loan deal to Vitesse Arnhem, while Will Keane and Fraizer Campbell also joined Ipswich Town and Huddersfield Town on free transfers.
The Tigers brought in Tom Eaves and Josh Magennis in the summer to bolster their attack but neither of them has looked particularly impressive in the Championship thus far.
The East Yorkshire outfit currently find themselves 20th in the standings after a lacklustre start to the season which has seen them accumulate only a solitary victory from their first seven games.
Despite the presence of prolific wingers like Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki, lack of firepower up top has been one of the major reasons behind their undoing, as epitomized by a tally of 8 goals in 7 league games.
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The arrival of Norbert Balogh isn’t likely to change the scenario instantly but this is a move that might go on to pay rich dividends later on in the campaign if the Hungarian manages to settle down well and produce his best in front of goal.