Lot of talk these days linking Chelsea with some world class footballing talent. Not exactly a surprising development is it? Nevertheless, a host of names have been sprinkled about in the rags - Lucas Moura, Shinji Kagawa among them. Two, however, continue to rise to the top of the list: Givanildo Vieira de Souza (Hulk for short) and Eden Hazard.
What's that, Romes?
Either of these players would make fantastic additions to this current Chelsea side. That's not even a debatable topic. But it seems highly unlikely (virtually impossible, really) that the club would be able to pull off such a miraculous double coup.
Think of the dough on the table for a move like that. Wow.
That being said, I put it to you, the fine readers of this deplorable blog, to tell me which one of these players you think the club should lock down. Sure, I'm including a poll in this post, but I'm not just looking for a vote. I want you to hit up the comments section and give us a few proper sentences on why you came to the conclusion you did.
To help you with your decision, what follows is a brief look at each player:
Givanildo Vieira de Souza
Hulk is a known commodity worldwide. No question. He warrants such attention.
The FC Porto attacker, 26 years old in July, has been in Portugal since 2008 where he has collected 76 goals and 55 assists in 166 appearances for Azuis e Brancos. He's a versatile performer, who can slot in safely across the a front three - though he has flourished as a right winger at Porto, thanks largely to former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The most noticeable aspect of Hulk is his physical presence. Obviously. Though just 5-foot-10, he's built like a fucking tank. This strength, uncommon for footballers, translates well into his game, with Hulk, as you would expect, being a difficult target for bullying. Yeah, you're not really going to be successful dispossessing him with a physical challenge. His frame may have you believe he lacks pace; this is far from the case, however. Hulk has very good (not great) speed and has some genuine fleetness in his step. Simply put, the kid's a specimen.
His overall game has yet to catch up to his natural physical characteristics, but it's not that far off. Hulk really is a wonderful footballer. He has one of the most powerful left feet in the world and has shown great ability on the ball over the past two seasons. He delivers a solid crossing pass, has above average vision and appears to have the awareness and footballing mind required to seamlessly slot into any attack on the planet. Add in the fact that he's a solid set-piece taker (both dead balls and corners) and you have a fine prospect.
Estimated fee: £30-35 million
This diva, like Hulk, is on the radar of just about every top tier team in Europe. He's done himself little favors with the way he's handled his upcoming transfer from French club Lille (some of that blame lies with his agent as well), but that shouldn't stop us from pursuing him.
After all, his known as a great teammate. And he's damn good.
There's an aura of Arjen Robben about Hazard, the flashes of unmatched brilliance combined with the way he can seem to become a skillful puppet master toying with defenders from all angles. Hazard is highly versatile, playing best in a system that allows him to drift in and around the attacking third, from the flanks to the center and beyond. That would make him an excellent fit for Chelsea, partnering with the likes of Juan Mata, Ramires and potentially others in our three behind the striker.
At 5-7, he has a slight build. Nothing like Hulk. Then again, Hazard is only 21 years old and has time to develop. Of course, it's unlikely he'll ever develop a physique like Hulk's but there's no reason to think he won't adapt to the Premier League. Also: Unlike Hulk, Hazard has shown some capacity to be a competent defender.
There are claims that Hazard is only interested in playing as a No. 10 - an obstacle at Chelsea with Mata in the mix - but I find this to be overblown theatrics. I can't see him turning down a nice pay package because he didn't want to play on the wing. All in all, Hazard in a deeply talented prospect with an extremely high ceiling.
Estimated fee: £30 million