Three players Hull City should sign

Sports Mole picks out three transfer targets that we believe will help Hull City to build upon their success from last season.

Due to Tony Pulis's heroics at Crystal Palace, the job carried out by Steve Bruce at the KC Stadium last term went somewhat under the radar.

Few had given Hull City a hope of retaining their Premier League status, but under Bruce's management they not only survived by a four-point margin, but also reached the final of the FA Cup, where they were cruelly defeated 3-2 after extra time by Arsenal.

Now, the focus will be on ensuring that they are not one-season wonders. Bruce has already added wingers Robert Snodgrass and Thomas Ince to his squad, as well as securing Jake Livermore's services on a permanent basis. Even so, there is still work to be done on Humberside and here, Sports Mole has picked out three other players that would greatly improve Bruce's options.

1. Michael Mancienne, Hamburg

Hamburg's British defender Michael Mancienne controls the ball during a pre-season friendly football match between Hamburger SV and FC Barcelona in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 24, 2012© Getty Images

When Curtis Davies arrived at Hull last summer, there were some sceptics. Had Bruce recruited a centre-back that was more comfortable playing in the Championship, rather than the Premier League? Bruce, though, was a central defender himself and his judgment where Davies is concerned has been spot on.

Having been given the captain's armband, the 29-year-old proved himself to be a real leader with the type of performances that had some calling for England manager Roy Hodgson to take note. Often part of a three-man defence, Davies was also ably assisted by the likes of the manager's son Alex Bruce and James Chester.

Yet, as solid as those two are, it would be fair to say that neither is blessed with great pace, nor are they the type of defender that is capable of bringing the ball forward and passing to a midfield teammate. That's not something that can be said of Mancienne, who is content in possession. He has Premier League experience from his younger days with Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers, while since 2011 he has been in the Bundesliga with Hamburg. Now 26, the former England Under-21 international should be coming into his prime.

2. Carl Jenkinson, Arsenal

Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson in action against Aston Villa on August 17, 2013© Getty Images

On the whole, Hull deserve credit for the way that they defended last term. They may have ended the 38-game campaign with a -15 goal difference, but when considering that the three relegated sides had a return of -34, -42 and -45, there was never any danger of the Tigers going down on goal difference, thanks in part to their defensive work.

This time around, though, opponents will be prepared for the way that Hull defend as a team and will have plans in place to exploit any weaknesses that they identify. In turn, defenders that perhaps exceeded expectations, with the greatest of respect, may find themselves exposed.

It means that Bruce will require additional options, as well as versatility. At 22, Jenkinson has sat on Arsenal's bench for long enough now. If he is to force his way into the thinking of the England manager, he must play regular football, as he told Sports Mole back in May. A steady defender with 37 Premier League appearances under his belt, he can play either centrally or at full-back.

3. James Wilson, Manchester United

James Wilson of Manchester United celebrates scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Hull City at Old Trafford on May 6, 2014© Getty Images

The January additions of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic were real masterstrokes by Bruce. Up until that point his side had struggled to find the net on a regular basis, but the pair scored nine times between their arrivals and the end of the season, ensuring that they would be playing Premier League football next term in the process.

If either of those two were to suffer a lengthy injury, though, those waiting in the wings have done little to suggest that they are capable of scoring goals on a regular basis in the top flight. Matty Fryatt, who did well in the FA Cup, has left, while the likes of Sone Aluko, Yannick Sagbo and Nick Proschwitz struggled to adapt to the top flight.

His Premier League experience may only amount to around 60 minutes, but Hull will know all about Wilson's potential. On what was his Man United debut towards the end of the season, he scored twice against Bruce's men. He's highly rated at Old Trafford, but at the age of 18 and with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie ahead of him in the pecking order, a loan move may be in the offing. The youngster comes alive inside the penalty area and while largely untested in senior football, he could provide the perfect foil to Messrs Long and Jelavic.

Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger sits on the bench during a game with Hoffenheim on March 10, 2012
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