Club: Zenit Saint Petersburg
International Caps: 36
Position: Wide Forward
Although Mario Balotelli is believed to be the number one transfer target at Arsenal, speculation continues to link Hulk with a move to the Emirates Stadium this summer. The forward is expected to retain his spot in Luis Felipe Scolari’s Brazil side for the fixture against Cameroon tonight.
Having been re-united with Andre Vilas-Boas at Zenit this season, Hulk has enjoyed a prolific campaign in Russia. The forward netted seventeen times and registered six assists in just twenty three starts. The Brazilian has thrived on the right wing, with the 27 year old capable of marauding past the full back or cutting inside to shoot on his favoured left foot.
Powerfully built and blessed with good pace, Hulk is able to simply bully defenders with his strength and the forward is proficient at drawing fouls. The Brazilian provides a versatile option as he is capable of occupying almost any attacking role. For Arsenal, the forward would surely add a strength and resilience that the Gunners’ have been accused of lacking over the years.
However, Hulk has failed to make much of an impression at the World Cup so far. Shifted out on to the left to accommodate Neymar and Oscar, the 27 year old has at this point failed to replicate his club form for his country. Despite his record at FC Porto and Zenit, inconsistency is a worrying facet of the forward’s game that unfortunately continues to plague him.
Having signed Hulk for a reported £32 million back in 2012, Zenit will be loathe to take much of a loss on their investment. The price tag will likely prove a serious stumbling block if Arsenal decide to firm up their interest in the 27 year old. But having signed Mesut Ozil for £42.4 million last summer, Wenger has now proven that he is willing to spend big on the right player, and Hulk could just fit the bill.