For pretty much his entire European career, Zenit winger-forward Hulk has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.
In many ways it’s understandable. The Brazilian powerhouse claimed a sensational return of 78 goals and 56 assists in 169 appearances during a four-year stay with FC Porto, and his immense physique and upper body strength is usually the type of athletic dominance that appeals to Chelsea, especially under the management of Jose Mourinho.
Similarly, during his time with The Anti-Aircraft Gunners, the 27 year-old has claimed 23 goals and 17 assists in 50 outings in all competitions, which is the kind of prolific output the Blues, along with any Premier League club, could do with in the final third.
But is Hulk the real deal, or as Alan Hansen has regularly claimed, dangerously overrated?
I guess a lot of that has to do with his price-tag. The Russian top flight outfit forked out a near £40million for the former Dragons star’s services just 18 months ago and made him the one of the world’s most lavishly paid players in the process, with a salary of €5million per year, so if Mourinho plans on luring the goal-scoring wideman away from Zenit any time soon, it’s going to cost an arm and a leg to say the least.
Furthermore, Hulk’s efforts for his country have always disappointed, perhaps the biggest contributor in Hansen’s blunt condemnation, netting just eight times in 32 appearances.
Add that to the fact the muscular winger has never done the business in a leading European top flight before, and you begin to see why an investment in Hulk could well be money down the drain, especially considering Mourinho already has a wealth of wide-men and attacking midfielders at his disposal this season.