HULL CITY have completed the loan signing of David Meyler after former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce reignited his interest in the Ireland midfielder.
Bruce was eager to land Meyler for the Tigers in the summer as part of a double loan raid on his old employers.
But while Bruce was able to sign Ahmed Elmohamady on a season-long loan, Martin O’Neill was keen to keep Meyler at the Stadium of Light.
The return of Phil Bardsley and Lee Cattermole has pushed Meyler down the pecking order though, with the 23-year-old left out of the 18-man matchday squad in Sunderland’s last two Premier League outings against Stoke and Aston Villa.
That prompted Bruce to make a renewed bid for Meyler’s services earlier this week and O’Neill has now agreed to let him move to the KC Stadium on an emergency loan until January 1, with a recall clause after 28 days.
Meyler has continually reiterated his desire to force his way into the first-team picture at the Stadium of Light and O’Neill has praised the Republic of Ireland international’s attitude in waiting patiently for an opportunity.
But the former Cork City man has again been a bit-part player for Sunderland this season, with his only start coming as a makeshift centre-half in September’s Capital One Cup victory at MK Dons.
Even when fellow ball-winning midfielder Cattermole was ruled out with a three-game suspension, O’Neill preferred right-winger Seb Larsson to Meyler in the middle of the park.
Bruce has remained a big fan of Meyler, though, after handing the former Cork City man his Black Cats debut three years ago.
And with Hull lying just two points off Championship leaders Crystal Palace, Bruce has been eager to ensure the Tigers’ promotion challenge remains on track.
Meyler’s Ireland team-mate, Robbie Brady, arrived on a one month loan from Manchester United on Tuesday and Bruce admitted earlier this week that he was on the look-out for acquisitions.
“We’ve got one or two irons in the fire that might come to fruition,” said Bruce.
“For example, the big teams getting knocked out of the League Cup can open doors, so we’ll scour and see what’s available over the next couple of weeks.
“I’m quite pleased with what we’ve got, but if there’s anyone out there who can improve us, then I’ll act.”
Since Elmohamady joined Hull on a season-long deal during the summer, O’Neill had restricted Sunderland’s loan exits to the club’s youngsters.
Centre-half John Egan moved to League Two Bradford City earlier this week, while striker Ryan Noble yesterday agreed a one-month extension to his loan spell with League One Hartlepool United.
But with Meyler now gone, Connor Wickham could also be given the chance to play regular first-team football in the Football League.
O’Neill admitted last week that he would consider any approaches to take Wickham on loan, with the £8million frontman yet to make an appearance for Sunderland this season.
Hull are not one of the sides interested in Wickham, but Ipswich and Wolves continue to be linked with the 19-year-old.