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Oscar Estupinan interview: Hull City striker on learning from Tigers manager Shota Arveladze and leaving a legacy at the MKM Stadium

BY SkySports
09.13.2022
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Sky Sports exclusive: Oscar Estupinan discusses exceeding his own expectations, honing his skills under Shota Arveladze and his hopes of leaving a legacy at the MKM Stadium; Watch Hull vs Stoke live on Sky Sports Football Red Button on Tuesday night; Kick-off 7.45pm.

There was not a great deal of fanfare when Oscar Estupinan arrived at Hull this summer as one of latest Colombian imports to England.

Luis Sinisterra arrived at Leeds after 37 goals involvements in 49 games for Feyenoord, with Luis Diaz having joined Liverpool from Porto for an initial £37m fee in January, shortly after wonderkid Yaser Asprilla had completed his move to Watford.

The signing of a player who had scored 15 goals in 2021/22 – on the way to helping Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes to secure a sixth-placed Primeira Liga finish – and had recently made his international debut was merely an afterthought.

An obligatory entry on the Done Deals page.

Oscar Estupinan has scored seven Championship goals in seven games since joining the club in the summer

There is certainly plenty of fanfare now.

The 25-year-old has scored seven goals in seven Sky Bet Championship matches for the Tigers – two doubles and a hat-trick.

Those goals have come from just 13 shots on target in total, while he has missed six opportunities statistically categorised as ‘big chances’ across those matches.

Speaking to Sky Sports through a Spanish translator, he admits he has exceeded even his own expectations.

“I am surprised at the amount of goals that I have scored,” he says with a wide smile, sat at a desk and wearing the club’s famous black and amber home shirt.

“This is a reflection of the teamwork and the manager because they are the ones that enable me to have chances to score. I started to prepare in the summer for this season and this is a reflection of that. I am surprised with the outcome and I hope I will remain in this form.

“It’s very important for a striker to score goals. The trust is important in order to help the team achieve its goals. The momentum also helps my team-mates put their trust in me and I trust them back. I want to keep scoring goals.

“In football, there is only one language. The language of football is universal and is not hard to understand. I do understand English and have a certain amount of fluency. I’m feeling better every day, so the language barrier is no setback.”

In Hull manager Shota Arveladze, he has a former striker to help hone his craft.

It has been just seven years since Estupinan made his professional debut for Once Caldas in his home country. The years since have seen him take in four clubs in four countries: Vitoria in Portugal, Barcelona SC in Ecuador, Denizlispor in Turkey and now Hull in England.

Former Georgia international Arveladze was a well-travelled striker himself – scoring over 250 league goals during a decorated career that took in spells at Ajax and Rangers, among others – before turning his hand to management.

Estupinan’s career already bears more than a touch of resemblance.

“It’s crucial the fact that the manager played in my position,” he adds.

“As a striker, I like to look for spaces, to make runs, to be in good positions inside the box. I’m good with my head, too. He provides me all the tools I need.

“The fact that he provides me with tips to improve as a player means a lot. It shows that he believes in my development and wants to show my best at the best level. I hope I can keep learning with him and the team as a whole.

“I’ve been fortunate to travel as much as I have because you get many benefits from the travelling experience; you develop as a person, you are able to mature, you learn languages. It’s a privilege to have experienced this amount of countries.”

Earlier this year, Estupinan was handed his international debut by Colombia manager – and former Swindon defender – Nestor Lorenzo.

It was the latest moment of progression in a career still very much in its infancy and an achievement every footballer dreams of, yet many never realise. During his international duty, he was reunited with former team-mate Sinisterra and former Primeira Liga rival Diaz.

“To represent my nation was a moment of pride that I’m extremely happy to have achieved,” he adds.

“Every player wants to represent their nation and I’m no different. It was an extremely happy time. It’s a reflection of my hard work. I want to keep working hard because I want to maintain my position in the national team.

“Sinisterra is an old friend of mine. We played together for Once Caldes and have been friends since that period. Hull and Leeds are nearby, so we are able to keep in contact.

“I am not so close with Luis Diaz, but I know him from Portugal as we played in the same league. They are excellent players with a bright future and you can see on the pitch the quality they display.”

But with his national team having failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, it is very much on the periphery for the time being. Domestic football is, understandably, at the forefront of his mind.

“The project is exciting and we are hoping for great things. Once I came to Hull, I realised the greatness of this club,” he says.

“The conditions are fabulous and I should not forget the fans as well. I have felt the power of the fans who provide support every day. It’s important for the club and the players to feel that the fans are backing them.

“My main goal is to work hard and do the best I possibly can. We want to deliver the best results. My focus is the present: I want to do well. Eventually, I would like to give Hull a chance to go to the Premier League. That’s my goal.

“Everywhere I go, of course, I try to leave a legacy – this is my intended goal. I’m here at the club and I intend to leave my legacy at Hull City.”

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