Hatem Ben Arfa
With the Hatem Ben Arfa project finished, Bruce must make changes in January.Getty Images

Hull City entered last winter's transfer market with a clear directive, recruit the goal scorers needed to retain their Premier League status.

This time around the club find themselves in a much more concerning position having already spent £35m in the summer – a figure offset by £15m collected in sales. Just three points from the foot of the table, next month Steve Bruce could do with rediscovering that transfer nous from last year.

What they need

Given the lack of impact delivered by Hatem Ben Arfa and Gaston Ramirez, Steve Bruce would appear to be in need of a creative force capable of playing behind his strikers or out wide. His decision to recall Tom Ince from loan would be indicative of that.

Who could join?

The contingent of former Tottenham stars now residing at the KC Stadium could grow with Aaron Lennon an option for the Tigers. Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj has been touted as a slightly more optimistic target on a loan deal but Hull's recruitment drive is likely to be a fairly quiet affair, with Bruce recently indicating he plans to make the most of what he currently has.

Hull have already exercised options to recall Ince and Maynor Figueroa.

Who could leave?

Paul McShane appears to have earned the wrath of his manager after the out-of-favour defender retweeted a series of tweets questioning his manager's decision to drop him to the Under-21 squad. Bruce has since revealed an apology from the Republic of Ireland manager will bring the matter to a close, however.

It would appear Hatem Ben Arfa's loan stint at the club has already been terminated, a move that comes as little surprise given Bruce's frustration with the Frenchman.

The similarly ineffective Ramirez could join him in leaving the club with a return to Serie A an option according to recent chatter from the Uruguayan's agent. Such a move could at the least free up space for Bruce to make more loan additions to his squad.

What the manager has said

"We've always got plans and targets but I honestly haven't given it much thought. I'm trying to find our best way forward with the squad we've got.

"If there's a player who I think can improve us and he's available, then we'll act. Certainly, I haven't been really active to try to do much. I always think in January, it's difficult.

"If there's someone there, I'll always knock on the door but I can't see me doing much."