Robert Snodgrass has been sold by Hull City to West Ham. At face, it’s a pretty simple move. A good player goes from one team to a better team. That happens all the time. But Snodgrass’ move looks to be indicative of a lot more.
It looks like Hull City are giving up.
The Tigers currently sit in 19th place, one from the bottom and set for relegation. They’re a weak team with depth issues that were exacerbated even more last weekend by Ryan Mason’s scary injury. And now they’ve sold Snodgrass, who has undoubtedly been their best player this season. Any chance Hull had of staying in the top flight is slipping away quickly.
Snodgrass has seven goals in the league this season, more than a third of the entire team’s total. He was really their only danger man and their tactics often left him to work all alone. Without him, their attack gets demonstrably worse, and this is an attack that is second worst in the Premier League with him. There is nothing but disaster awaiting the Tigers now.
That Snodgrass is on the move is no surprise. Hull also accepted an offer from Burnley before Snodgrass chose West Ham and Middlesbrough were encouraged to bid on him too. The Tigers were more than happy to sell Snodgrass, no matter how much his departure will hurt their chances of staying in the top flight.
None of this is shocking considering the summer Hull had. They earned promotion to the top flight, but sold two of their best players in Mohamed Diame and Jake Livermore, while refusing to buy anyone of note until a couple measly purchases just before the transfer window shut. It was so bad that Steve Bruce quit as manager and they started the season without a permanent manager in place.
At no point since Hull were promoted has it looked like they were committed to staying in the Premier League. The on-field product has been an afterthought and the results have shown that. Maybe it’s smart of Hull to sell someone like Snodgrass now so they don’t have to do it on the cheap in the summer after they’ve been relegated. It’s not unheard of for teams to start hedging their bets in January if relegation is possible — but Hull never looked like they were in the game to begin with and selling Snodgrass could be the end of their hopes to play another season in the top flight.