It's transfer silly season again. As expected, the top newspapers and tabloids in Britain have started their annual ritual of churning out football transfer gossip stories day in, day out for the month of January.
Some of the stories, as you would know, are complete fiction—and absolutely hilarious, simply because they contain the most ridiculous of suggestions.
However, there are times when the most laughable of stories have some truth to them. One such story, regarding a certain Givanildo Vieira de Souza, is presently doing the rounds.
FC Porto's prized asset, better known to the footballing world as Hulk, is a much sought-after player these days. A record of 67 goals and 50 assists in 149 games for Porto, not surprisingly, has a host of European powerhouses interested in his signature.
Chelsea FC have been long-standing admirers of the Brazilian, and he has recently been linked with a big-money move to Stamford Bridge.
Now, this player is one that never fails to thrill me when I watch him. So I decided to weigh up the pros and cons of Chelsea signing him, before coming to a conclusion as to whether he's worth it or not.
- Will add just what is badly needed at the Bridge: pace, quick feet and directness.
- Lots of other European giants are after him and, simply to prevent them from snapping up one of the world's most complete forwards, getting him seems not too bad an idea.
- As his name suggests, he is very strong and his sheer strength can send shivers down the spines of opposition defenses. Indeed, he has a build like that of the iconic Marvel superhero. His thunderbolt of a left foot goes well with it.
- He should fit in seamlessly at a club that is by no means devoid of Portuguese speakers. Fellow countrymen David Luiz and Ramires would help him settle down in the English capital.
- His characteristics make him a splendid choice to replace Didier Drogba, should the Ivorian choose to move on from Chelsea.
- Has worked before at Porto with the studious Andre Villas-Boas, and has expressed his desire to reunite with the Chelsea gaffer.
- Proven goalscorer. Will likely occupy the right forward slot, which might allow Daniel Sturridge to move into the centre forward role, where he is expected to thrive and fulfill his massive potential. Hulk, not to forget, has age on his side too.
- His ginormous buyout clause stands at about £84million. No club in their right minds would splash the cash to land him now. And even if Roman Abramovich were to defy logic and open his wallet, it would put a huge weight of expectation on the shoulders of the Brazilian. We have seen even the best crumble under that (Fernando Torres being the ideal example).
- In the future, when Chelsea chase top players from different clubs, the selling clubs will quote prices significantly higher than the market price, expecting the West Londoners to cough up the cash. The Hulk deal could thus create a stumbling block for potential deals in the future because £84million here is, without a shadow of doubt, paying well over the odds.
- Hulk won't be able to feature in the UEFA Champions League for Chelsea, as he will be cup-tied.
- Hulk's arrival may leave Fernando Torres out in the cold, and that isn't going to help a man whose confidence is in shambles already. No club will pay anywhere near £50million to prize El Niño away from the capital either. So it will only compound his misery.
All in all, going for the physically intimidating Hulk right now wouldn't be a good idea. In the summer, a bidding war may break out with other European heavyweights, but waiting till then is right thing to do.
The last thing Chelsea would want now is to land a player who is more expensive than Cristiano Ronaldo and ends up flopping like Torres. That would only increase the magnitude of under-fire Villas-Boas' problems manifold.
If I were AVB, I would just forget about this deal for now. With the massive transfer fee involved, and the sizable wage packet that Hulk would likely demand, Chelsea should look elsewhere for reinforcements in attack.
What do you think?