It's all change for Hull City under 'Turkish Simon Cowell' as they prepare to play Preston North End

Preston North End will be coming up against a much-changed Hull City in their first home game of the season from the team they faced 12 months ago.

By Tom Sandells
Friday, 5th August 2022, 12:30 pm

The Tigers were first up for PNE last season at Deepdale, but it was also their first game of the season.

And the reigning League One champions turned the home side over on that occasion.

An inspired Keane Lewis-Potter performance helped Hull to a 4-1 win, although they have now sold their academy product to Brentford for around £16m.

Hull City's Jean Michael Seri celebrates after the final whistle having scored a stoppage time winner against Bristol City.

They have reinvested that money this summer and there is certainly a Turkish feel to their recruitment.

Wide man Dogukan Sinik has joined from Antalyaspor, whilst forward Allahyar Sayyadmanesh and midfielder Ozan Tufan have both joined from Fenerbahce – both sides playing in Turkey's top flight.

It makes sense, given that their new owner as of the start of this year, is Turkish businessman Acun Ilicali.

Elsewhere, new star striker Oscar Estupinan joined from the Portuguese top flight and their marquee signing of the summer was no doubt that of Jean Michael Seri.

The former Fulham man came in on a free transfer this summer, having previously been linked with a blockbuster move to Barcelona, before the Cottagers convinced him otherwise as they were promoted to the Premier League.

It is that level of star power than new owner Ilicali, who heads up a production company in his home country, wants to bring to the club.

He quickly brought in his own manager, with current boss Shota Arveladze coming in shortly into his ownership.

A former Rangers player, who won multiple honours in Scotland including league titles, he will be looking to lean on his experience as a boss in Turkey and Israel, though most recently Uzbekistan, to get his side out of the toughest league in the world.

The jury is still out on the Georgian. He replaced Grant McCann at the turn of the year, who was not the most popular on Humberside, and saw them to safety.

Though that will have little bearing now, especially considering the poor quality of those teams that were relegated last term.

There is a feel-good factor around the Tigers at the moment, with the unpopular Allam family now bought out, so he would do well to harness that and the big names signings brought in so far will help that mood.

A strong start will be key to maintain and build momentum and an opening-day win against Bristol City is just the tonic to see Hull kick on.

Seri, named in the EFL team of the week for the opening weekend, will be the key man for the Tigers on Saturday and will be tasked with making them tick.

Further forward, Tufan got off the mark from the penalty spot against the Robins so the forward line is beginning to kick into gear.

They do face a fight tokeep one of their main men at the back as Jacob Greaves is attracting plenty ofattention from Middlesbrough.

Boro are reported to have made a £5m bid for the 21-year-old defender but that has been turned down, and the Tigers are looking to sort out a new deal for another bright young talent coming out of the MKM Stadium.