Chelsea Transfer News: Top 7 Alternatives to Hulk
The fact Chelsea want to sign Hulk means they’re looking for a right-sided player, preferably an inside-out winger/forward.
If the Blues don’t sign Hulk, here are the top seven alternatives to the Brazilian.
7. Juan Cuadrado, Udinese, Age: 24
Juan Cuadrado spent last season on loan at Lecce, where Serse Cosmi started the dynamic Colombian at right wing-back.
Cuadrado is a tweener because he isn't disciplined enough to play right-back and he isn't efficient enough to play as a right winger, based on his three goals from 59 shots and two assists from 1,166 passes.
In terms of dribbling ability, where would you rank him among Andrés Iniesta, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard?
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Cuadrado is so explosive that it would be a risk worth taking because if surrounded by better players, surely he'll become a better player.
6. Ryad Boudebouz, Sochaux, Age: 22
Ryad Boudebouz is a gifted and tricky player who moves like Ángel di María.
The problem with Boudebouz is he didn't produce week in and week out for Sochaux.
His teammate Marvin Martin was trying his best to inspire the team, but Boudebouz gave up from time to time.
He went through a 12-game stretch where he didn't score or provide an assist.
5. Adam Johnson, Manchester City, Age: 24
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Adam Johnson played 1,328 fewer Premier League minutes than Stewart Downing, yet still scored six more goals and provided two more assists. Someone tell that to Roy Hodgson.
Johnson is too talented to be warming the benches at Manchester City. He's constantly looking to play key passes and is an accurate shooter.
City have tied Johnson up till 2016, so they have the upper hand in negotiating an inflated transfer fee because they would be handing over a gifted footballer to a rival club.
4. Jakub Błaszczykowski, Borussia Dortmund, Age: 26
If not for Mario Götze's injury issues, Jakub Błaszczykowski would have been riding the bench with Mitch Langerak, Patrick Owomoyela, Felipe Santana, Moritz Leitner (remember that name), Ivan Perisić and Lucas Barrios.
Kuba's grit in tracking opposing full-backs and his effectiveness in the attacking half allowed Jürgen Klopp to not worry about Götze.
Next season, Klopp will probably start Götze, Marco Reus and Kevin Großkreutz as the "3" in the 4-2-3-1, meaning there's no place for Kuba.
He'd earn more money at Chelsea, he'd win more trophies with the super team Roman Abramovich is trying to assemble, and Kuba would easily beat out Daniel Sturridge for a place on the right.
Kuba is the antithesis of Sturridge because the Polish captain is all about the team.
He increased his transfer value with this great goal against Russia.
3. Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle United, Age: 25
What was Graham Carr thinking when he recommended Hatem Ben Arfa to Newcastle United?
Egomaniac, uncoachable, overrated and a team cancer were accurate descriptions of the Frenchman.
Ben Arfa's renaissance at Newcastle is incredible—maybe they should now sign Yoann Gourcuff.
Ben Arfa will cost Chelsea around £20-30 million, but he is capable of winning a game by himself, just like Georgi Kinkladze used to do for Manchester City.
2. Martin Harnik, Stuttgart, Age: 25
In Europe's elite leagues, there were only two players who scored 15 league goals or more with 1.9 shots per game or lower—Gonzalo Higuaín and Martin Harnik.
Harnik has an uncanny knack of predicting where the ball will end up. He takes up positions that seem stupid, hence why he loses his marker, but the ball falls to him and he scores.
He only completed 66.7 percent of passes, which is so odd because he has good technique.
Mario Gómez, Alexander Hleb and Sami Khedira were successful in life after Stuttgart. Will Harnik be the same?
1. Alan Dzagoev, CSKA Moscow, Age: 21
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Arshavin essentially becomes a playmaker, a No. 10, while the highly-promising Dzagoev plays in a similar position but looks to get in advance of the striker more frequently, and was Russia’s top goalscorer in qualifying, with four goals.
In a 3-0 win over Trabzonspor, Leonid Slutsky started Dzagoev as a right winger, yet he basically played as an attacking midfielder.
The season before last, Jürgen Klopp played Mario Götze, Shinji Kagawa and Kevin Großkreutz as the "3" in the 4-2-3-1. Behind the three was Nuri Şahin launching accurate diagonal passes from deep.
Klopp effectively started four playmakers that allowed Borussia Dortmund to play beautiful possession football.
Chelsea could play Dzagoev, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, as the "3" in the 4-2-3-1.
Three interchangeable attacking midfielders, three playmakers and importantly three productive midfielders.
According to transfermarkt.co.uk, Dzagoev's contract expires in several months. In the past, Roman Abramovich did not veto the signings of compatriots Alexey Smertin and Yuri Zhirkov, so don't be surprised if Dzagoev calls Stamford Bridge home.
Regarding Dzagoev's Euro 2012 performances, bear in mind some players tend to overachieve during knock out tournaments.
Māris Verpakovskis had some great moments at Euro 2004, but he never made the transition into an elite forward. Roger produced incisive passes for Poland at Euro 2008, yet he has never played in an elite league.
Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com.