Chelsea have been linked with a move for Brazilian forward Hulk since his days at Porto. A deal to bring the 5’11” striker to London fell through in summer 2012, and he ended up moving to Zenit Saint Petersburg in September that year. FoxSports have reported that Jose Mourinho is preparing to move for the unsettled star in January, while the Russian club are ready to sell him for the right price.
According to the BBC, Hulk cost around £30 million when he moved to Russia’s second city in 2012, and Chelsea would have to spend a Fernando Torres-sized fee if they are to secure his services in January. However, there are plenty of reasons why Roman Abramovich should get his checkbook out.
Having begun his career in Brazil and Japan, Hulk became a legend at Porto under former Blues boss Andre Villas Boas. He won three Portuguese cups and three league titles, as well as the Europa League in 2011. In that triumphant season, playing alongside Radamel Falcao, Hulk scored 28 goals in all competitions, only five behind the Columbian’s tally.
Despite reportedly being unhappy in Russia, and suffering some racist abuse from Zenit’s own fans, Hulk has scored nine goals in 13 league starts so far this season. That’s nearly double the five goals that Chelsea’s current strikeforce of Demba Ba, Samuel Eto’o and Torres have managed in 15 games. He has also racked up as many assists as the Blues’ strikers combined, as well as taking 4.3 shots per game to their average of 1.9.
The big concern with bringing in a superstar striker is how it will affect the current crop of players. According to Sky Sports, Romelu Lukaku handed in a transfer request after Eto’o joined the club, and the addition of another striker could push the promising youngster further away from his parent club. However, with one or more of the current trio likely to be sold to finance a move for Hulk, Lukaku would still have a place in the squad when he returns next summer.
If they were to sign him in January, Hulk would be ineligible for the remainder of Chelsea’s Champions League campaign. Despite this, with the Premier League still very much up for grabs and their challenge for the FA Cup set to begin in January, Chelsea should try their utmost to secure his services to stand a better chance of winning some silverware.