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Hull City are about to agree a deal to bring Sweden international midfielder Sebastian Larsson to the club.
Larsson will become the Tigers’ sixth new signing of the summer transfer window, with the 32-year-old having held talks with the club over the past week, and presenting his wish to join on a free transfer with a view to making his debut this weekend.
The Swede has been keeping fit over the summer without a club, having been released by Sunderland at the end of last season. He has made it known that he wishes to stay in England despite interested from Turkey and China in recent weeks.
New boss Leonid Slutsky seems all too aware that older and more experienced players are needed in his squad given the loss of some key personnel over the summer, something which led to the club fielding seven players aged under 23 in their 1-1 draw at Villa Park.
Larsson has exactly that type of quality on paper, having made over 400 appearances in England with various clubs, including Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, as well as 90 caps for his country. But, having been around the block alone enough to say he is the right man for Hull?
The right-sided midfielder has his qualities, such as his dead-ball technique, and was a full part of various Sunderland incarnations which almost inevitably narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League annually. However, he has not played in the second tier for eight years now and may find the hustle and bustle of it all a bit too much these days.
Given the money being thrown around by Championship clubs just now, most notably Middlesbrough and Wolves, to pay a 90-times capped Sweden international a decent wage without any transfer fee for his services would have been easy for a host of sides in this division.
Despite this though, nobody else is coming forward with an offer for him and that alone would worry me. Given the desperation shown by professional clubs at this time of the year and the eagerness of agents to get deals done, you would have thought that someone with Larsson’s past would have been snapped up at this level.
This hasn’t happened and I would imagine that he is simply seen as ‘past it’ by most figures in the game, rather than being seen as a wily midfield character who adds valuable nous to a side.
I can’t imagine this is a great deal for Hull really, and with a new left-back being required, this is perhaps a position they could have looked to, in order to add the experience the manager desires, and not sign Larsson.