Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Breaking Down How Hulk Would Fit with Blues

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - MAY 04: Hulk of FC Zenit St. Petersburg gestures during the Russian Football League Championship match between FC Zenit St. Petersburg and FC Alania Vladikavkaz at the Petrovsky stadium on May 4, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Mike Kireev/Epsilon/Getty Images)
Epsilon/Getty Images

Perhaps Chelsea's nickname next season will have to be changed to the Avengers, as it appears the club is keen on signing Brazil and Zenit St. Petersburg forward Hulk. 


All cheesy jokes aside, it wouldn't be a shock to see the Avengers—err, Blues—pull the trigger on a move for Hulk, whom they were linked with regularly last summer. It would be very, very interesting to see how he would fit on this squad.

But, first, the rumor. We turn to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, who has the latest on this potential £35 million move:

Chelsea have turned to Zenit St. Petersburg striker Hulk as a potential summer signing, having lost out to Monaco on No. 1 target Radamel Falcao, because they are now facing major competition for Napoli hitman Edinson Cavani.

Ironically, the Blues were very close to buying Hulk last summer but could not agree a deal with his then-club Porto, who were demanding £40 million.

Hulk joined Zenit instead but the mega-rich Russians, believed to have paid in excess of £50m for his services, are already looking to sell and cut their losses after the 26-year-old's difficult first season.

Hulk never seemed to find his footing in Russia, scoring just four goals for the club in 16 total appearances. That is far below his standard, considering he had tallied 48 goals for Porto in the previous two seasons combined. 

But would he find his footing at Chelsea?

The first consideration is where he would play. While he is fully capable of playing on either wing or as a central striker, he normally features on the right wing for Brazil, where he can cut in on his favored left foot and let rip with one of the most powerful shots in the world. 

Would he really be needed out wide for Chelsea, though? Eden Hazard is a fixture on the left, while Chelsea have options on the right in Oscar, Victor Moses and the potentially incoming Andre Schurrle

While Hulk would probably take precedence over those players on the right, Oscar proved himself a player worthy of starting regularly this season and the trio he's a part of alongside Hazard and Juan Mata made Chelsea one of the more creative and dangerous teams in the Premier League this season. 

Thus, if Hulk does come to Chelsea, one would have to think it would be with the intention of playing him as the lone, central striker atop the attack. 

Given his strength and broad figure, the natural comparison would be to compare him to Didier Drogba, but that's probably not a fair comparison. Drogba was much better in the air in his prime and really could finish in every conceivable way. 

While Hulk is a powerful yet nimble forward with a huge shot, he's not as versatile a finisher. He would likely replace David Luiz on any long-range free kicks, however. 

Then again, given his often-lax defensive work rate, playing him as a central striker would make sense.

Still, you have to wonder if it would take his greatest strength—his ability to score from distance and thus force defenders to close him down further up the pitch, creating space on his flank—and render it irrelevant. 

In the end, Hulk is a dangerous player who would find his way onto the pitch for Chelsea, likely ahead of Fernando Torres or Demba Ba at striker, allowing the Avengers—err, Blues—to utilize their other talented midfielders behind him.

But if Chelsea supporters are hoping he'll become the next Drogba, well, they've got another thing coming entirely. 



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