The head coach of Championship side Hull City Leonid Slutsky believes his appointment as the first Russian manager in English football would swell Russian support for the club.
The 46-year old manager is commissioned with the task of pulling a Benitez by returning the club to the top flight as soon as possible.
The Marco Silva replacement has a high profile in his home country. He won three titles while coaching CSKA Moscow. He also led the national team of Russia at the Euro 2016 last year in France. The manager opines that English football is popular in Russia so his appointment could improve the followership by the fans back at the Far East.
“English football is very popular in Russia. The first tournament by Russian TV companies was the English Premier League. It’s really popular in Russia. I’m a coach, I don’t have a team, but of course when Mr [Roman] Abramovich bought Chelsea a lot of Russians supported them and I’m not an exception,” the coach said.
He agreed that more Russians would support Hull now that he was the manager.
“I don’t know how many [Russian] supporters there will be on the stands because it’s difficult. But Maybe energy from TV, I think now. In Russia, there are 150 million people and I think 50 percent will be supporting Hull City,” Slutsky boldly claimed.
The manager spoke on his summer plans, revealing that he plans to add six or seven players. He spoke of some players joining the club on loan ahead of the trip to Portugal next week.
Czech Republic star Tomas Kalas who is contracted to Chelsea FC is one of the main targets. Kalas played at Fulham last term on loan but City hope to lure him to join them. Hull has also been linked with a move for Cardiff striker Kenneth Zohore.
Hull lost out in the race for defender Josh Tymon, a highly rated player the club wanted after selling Harry Maguire and Curtis Davies recently. Others like Sam Clucas, Tom Huddlestone, KamilGrosicki, Andrew Robertson and Ahmed Elmohamady are also poised to leave soon.