It seems that the Tom Ince saga is finally reaching a conclusion, with the winger having turned down the chance of moving Inter Milan in favour of, err, Hull City.
Whilst it may not be everyone’s preferred career path, the former Blackpool man appears to have set his heart on a move to the KC Stadium, where he will be greeted by the loving (if slightly chubby) arms of Steve Bruce and added to the club’s ever-more bloated wage bill.
Despite his controversial attempt to change Hull’s name last season, chairman Assem Alam is clearly keen to spread his wealth around this summer, with Ince looking to be the latest willing recipient of the Egyptian’s riches, after a contract between the two parties was agreed last night.
All that remains now, is for a compensation fee to be paid to Blackpool for Ince, which could well prove to be far from a formality. The Tangerines are likely to ask the tribunal to consider a figure of £8 million, based largely on the amount we paid them for the winger’s five month loan deal. Whether or not Hull will be willing to pay that much remains to be seen.
From our perspective, I can’t say I’m that sad to see him move on. Although he unquestionably has the ability to score a few goals and grab an assist here and there, he is far from the finished article so many casual observers would have you believe.
Arguably the biggest drawback to his game remains his upper-body strength, as proven by the frequency with which he was casually shouldered off the ball by opponents last season.
Should he spend some serious time in the gym over the next six months, Hull could well have a very useful player on their hands, but at £8 million, I don’t think there will be many Palace fans who are unhappy at missing out.