Herbie Kane is set to return to Liverpool after suffering a season-ending hamstring injury, but the loanee could rejoin Hull for the long term if their manager gets his wish.
The 21-year-old was forced off after just 28 minutes in Hull’s 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough on Thursday night, having opened the scoring with his second free-kick in a week.
He then missed Sunday’s 4-2 defeat at West Brom, which leaves the Tigers a point off the relegation zone, and speaking after the game, Grant McCann confirmed he would miss the remainder of the campaign.
“It’s not a nice one for him,” the manager said. “We’re gutted for Herbie because he’s had no luck since coming here.”
Kane is in his second spell working for McCann, having shone on loan at Doncaster last season, but now faces an uncertain future with Hull still fighting the drop.
He has proved he is capable of performing in the Championship—if, as is expected, not at Liverpool—and that should be his priority in the next transfer window.
If Hull stay up, however, McCann has openly admitted he would be eager to keep Kane at the KC, and preferably on a permanent basis, as he revealed after the weekend’s loss.
“We’d love to have him back with us next season,” he said.
“He’s everything that we need and everything that I like in a player—with his energy and bravery. He can score goals and he’s calm on the ball as well.
“We’d love to keep him here next year—and possibly longer if we could.”
Beyond their possible relegation to League One, Hull are facing financial difficulties in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with McCann conceding in June that it had “hit us massively.”
It is difficult to give any player assurances, then, but if they are able to stay up and can broker a deal, it could be a beneficial situation for all parties.
Though Kane made his first-team debut for Liverpool in the League Cup earlier this season, going on to make two appearances, he is unlikely to break into Jurgen Klopp‘s squad on a permanent basis.
With Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and now Curtis Jones—and possibly even Thiago Alcantara if rumours are to be believed—Klopp’s midfield ranks are well-stocked.
Pedro Chirivella opted to leave on the expiry of his contract this month, and Ovie Ejaria will seal a long-term move to Reading when his loan deal ends, which could set the example for Kane.
Joining Hull, and staying with a manager who is eager to nurture his development, could be the right step forward for Kane at 21.