Interest in Keane Lewis-Potter should not come as a surprise to Hull City fans, who have watched the youngster grow into a talismanic player for the Tigers after progressing through the academy.
A brief taste of Championship football wetted his appetite in the season City were relegated, but it was last season where he showed his promise, scoring 15 times with all types of finishes to help the club win promotion back to the second tier at the first attempt.
Southampton were the latest Premier League club to be linked with a move for the highly-rated 20-year-old when reports surfaced on Sunday of Martyn Glover – the south coast club’s scout – watching him at Blackburn Rovers a week ago.
While firm interest in Lewis-Potter from the Saints is understood to have yet materialise in anything concrete, there’s little doubt the youngster will continue to attract attention as the weeks go on as he did last term when other top flight clubs were monitoring his situation, particularly around the time of his contract dispute.
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Already City’s leading scorer in all league and cup this season, Lewis-Potter’s three goals have shown his tenacity and ability to carry a threat at this level, coupled with his very obvious potential playing off the flank or through the middle.
His goal at Preston on the opening day showed an intelligence to break off the defender and time his run perfectly, before taking a steadying touch and then applying a crisp finish into the bottom corner following a lovely Richie Smallwood pass.
Against Wigan the youngster ran onto another defence-splitting pass, this time from George Moncur to power in from the edge of the box and into the far corner, while against Sheffield United, he peeled off George Baldock at the back post to slot in Tyler Smith’s fine cross.
City are braced for bids in the January transfer window and may well find it tough to keep the 20-year-old at his boyhood club, but despite the frustrations among City fans about the current league position and the state of the ownership, Lewis-Potter is proof that there are good things happening at the club.
Lewis-Potter is by no means the only one, either, with Jacob Greaves grabbing headlines at the heart of the defence, though it is the forward attracting the greater attention.
Breaking the Tigers’ 10-hour goal drought will have been a big moment for the team, but also Lewis-Potter himself, who will have taken confidence from that strike.
He’s also the Tigers’ biggest threat and has that ability to turn a game on its head in a split second, and it will be that coupled with his clear potential which will make him attractive to clubs in the Premier League, many of whom continue to monitor his progress.
While it would be wrong to dictate what he should and shouldn’t do for the benefit of his career, staying at the MKM Stadium at least for the remainder of this season will only aid his development going forward and ensure his progress isn’t hampered by sitting on a Premier League bench or in the stands.
City’s cause is a serious one and while the temptation from the owners – current or future – may be to cash in on their prized asset, the greater need of staying in the division is one to be considered.
If there is to be a change at the top in the coming weeks, with Acun Ilıcalı’s takeover reportedly moving a step closer, this will be one of the early decisions needing to be made over the winter months.