Chelsea: 6 Reasons Hulk's Drawn-out Signing Will Hurt His Time with the Blues
In the summertime, transfer rumors in soccer are more consistent than the sun actually shining.
And this year is no different with Chelsea, as always, right in the thick of things.
The three latest rumors include the Blues pursuing Inter Milan right back Douglas Maicon, Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetić and Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric.
But the big one which has Chelsea fans seemingly split down the middle is the attempt to land Porto’s Hulk, who seems to be be considering either a move to Stamford Bridge, Ligue 1 runners-up Paris Saint-Germain or just staying put in Portugal.
Time will tell and we all know how these speculative stories often end up. Remember the rumors of a Modric move to the Blues at this time last year?
Whereas the ultimate decision to sign the flashy Brazilian will come down to how much Chelsea is willing to pay for his services, how much PSG will offer and how much the flashy Brazilian’s agent Teodoro Fonseca can get for his client, the final decision will ultimately come down to the player.
This whole process has been, and will continue to be choppy, and I think in the long run it could really hurt Hulk’s time with the European champions if he does decide to eventually sign with Chelsea.
His Desire to Actually Want to Play for Chelsea Will Be in Doubt
Is his heart really in this possible move?
First Hulk said, "Chelsea are the current European champions and would please any player and I'm no exception. I'd be happy if the transfer happened” and he asked Porto to allow him to make the move to west London.
Then it seemed a little birdie got in his ear and the 25-year-old star’s agent said Hulk’s current club would do all they could to keep him.
"I am not desperate to leave Porto," Hulk told Globesporte,com. "I love the fans and have always been happy at the club. If a club reaches agreement with Porto, then I will go. But there is no rush as the transfer window runs until August."
Yeah, there’s certainly “no rush” when you’re playing all sides against each other in an effort to get the maximum payday, a completely fair thing in negotiations like this.
Porto said in a recent report that no bids have actually been made yet but rumors of Chelsea valuing Hulk at the £30 million mark and PSG preparing to make a mind-bending £43 million bid for the striker have been circulating.
Then, after all the Chelsea-PSG rumor dust settled, Hulk came out and said "I honestly do not know my future. All I know is that there are several others besides these two clubs that have shown interest in me."
To me, all this back-and-forth and wishy-washiness suggests his heart may not totally be in the move to west London.
And who wants a high-priced guy who’s unsure if he wants to play for you?
Not exactly the type of message you want to send to your possible new employer.
If He Doesn’t Get with the Team Sooner Than Later, It Will Hurt
This one’s simple.
If Hulk knows he wants to play for Chelsea already, he needs to get familiar with his new teammates and get used to his role with his new club.
Practicing as much as possible with his new team for the prolific goal-scorer will be paramount and after losing Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and likely Florent Malouda in the last year, Chelsea needs to know who it will be able to look to for goals, especially with so much doubt about Fernando Torres’ closing abilities of late.
Increasing scoring is a big priority after the Blues scored the least number of goals in a season last year (65) since 2007-08.
And that English Premier League opener at Wigan Athletic (Aug. 18) is now just seven weeks away.
He Needs to Quickly Get Acclimated with His New Surroundings
A Brazilian who has played in Portugal for four seasons years will need to assimilate to his new culture as soon as possible, and if Hulk does decide to head to Stamford Bridge, then he’d be doing himself a big favor to do so by July 20 or so.
Getting used to London, a new language and a brand new and very different culture would be hard on any 25-year-old, but to try to do so with the weight of the world on your shoulders and some pretty big expectations will make it that much harder.
A late July or early August signing would only make jelling with his new team and new surroundings more difficult than it would be psychologically if he makes that same move in the next couple of weeks.
Management Needs to Know if They’re Working with Him or Without Him
Getting and paying handsomely for a player of Hulk’s caliber is no small feat and owner Roman Abramovich, manager Roberto Di Matteo and the rest of the Chelsea coaching staff need to know what they’re working with heading into August with so much soccer including EPL, UEFA Champions League, Carling Cup and FA Cup play on the horizon.
The team seems really interested in getting Hulk but is also reportedly making a bid for Wigan Athletic striker Victor Moses just in case.
If Hulk should sign sooner than later, then management can figure out more quickly what it needs and what it is willing to spend to accommodate the rest of the needs of this ever-changing and rebuilding team.
Should the Blues sign Moses and he or any of the other perceived scorers who won’t likely start like Daniel Sturridge or Romelu Lukaku get off to a hot start, then it will only make it harder to give Hulk the amount of playing time he’ll think he is warranted after signing such a big deal with so much hype behind it.
And we all know what has happened on that front with Fernando Torres so far. A big payday does not always guarantee big results on the pitch in the end.
Blues Fans May Start Turning on Him
You won’t be reading it in the newspaper stories but all you have to do is look here on the Internet in the comments sections to find that many Chelsea die-hards don’t think a Hulk acquisition is worth the time nor the money.
The two most common responses I’ve read over the last two months have been that the guy is simply not worth that much money or that Chelsea simply doesn’t need him.
After going through a similar reality in landing Torres from Liverpool 17 months ago, it’s pretty hard not to agree with those sentiments.
Should Chelsea eventually sign Hulk, those same fans will remember this drawn-out process as well as the monster payday which will put loads of pressure on him to shine right away.
And we all know pressure can turn (coal) into either a diamond or dust.
Waiting to Sign so Long May Lead to a Slow or Bad Start
At Porto, which has lost just once in league play over the last two seasons going 50-9-1 along the way, Hulk knows his surroundings and is very comfortable with his role on the Portistas, who won their second straight Primeira Liga championship last season after capturing their second Treble in 2010-11.
If Hulk were to join PSG for the big bucks, the pressure would be substantial for him, but not half as big as the pressure he’d feel signing for Chelsea and the glaring spotlight of the Barclay’s Premier League.
Waiting to sign until the last possible minute may throw Hulk into an unforeseen funk as he may feel forced into the decision by his agent or buckle under the grandeur of playing for a club like Chelsea.
And a weak start may end up ultimately affecting his confidence and consequently his performance, thus making future years he plays under his contract that much harder and justifying the doubts of critics who said Chelsea didn’t need or shouldn’t overpay for him in the first place.
Makes you realize that simply signing with Chelsea because some Blues fans want him isn’t as easy a decision as it seems for Hulk. And it seems staying with what he already knows at Porto or heading to France to play would be a lot less stressful for him in the long run.
So this crazy pursuit of The Human Being Formerly Known As Givanildo Vieira de Souza should reach its climax sometime this month and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we heard the names of a couple other clubs thrown into the mix.
Often, these really big signings don’t always add up to big production as Torres and Samuel Eto'o (eight goals last season for the Russian Premier League’s Anzhi Makhachkala) have recently proven.
Let me know below if you think Chelsea needs and should sign Hulk, and, if so, what the latest date he should sign should be and what the maximum is you would pay for him.
For me, the answers are yes Chelsea needs him and yes it should sign him, but only up to July 20 and only at a maximum of around £30 million.
We’ll see what happens.
Follow me on Twitter: @KevinStott11