Why Aren’t Premier League Clubs Chasing Zenit’s Incredible Hulk?


The incredible Hulk of Zenit St. Petersburg is having a dominant start to the season. He’s battering the Russian Premier League and Champions League opposition alike in breathtaking fashion. That’s why it’s so confusing that no Premier League teams are chasing the prolific Brazilian as they do other high-profile stars from leagues abroad.

Those in the know around the world of football know what a special season Hulk is having. His blistering Whoscored.com rating of 8.37 leads the Russian Premier League by a wide margin and he has the best rating in the world of Champions League players with an amazing 9.12 average. He’s knocked in 10 goals and 13 assists in 16 games. It’s not out of the question to say he’s been the best player in the world during this season.

It is true that neither Sky or Fox Sports is televising many Zenit matches so it’s understandable why Premier League fans are clamoring for their favorite club to sign Hulk. That’s not an excuse for Premier League scouts, owners and directors of football though. They are paid large sums of money to scout the world far and wide so it’s unthinkable they haven’t seen Hulk on numerous occasions this season.

That’s why it’s baffling the lack of rumors about Hulk making his way to the Premier League. The press inundates fans with rumors about every other player around the world, but avoid conjecture about Hulk like the plague. Surely he is a player worth vast speculation and rumor mongering.

One reason he’s not reported on much is that he’s come out and said how happy he is at Zenit. He has recently been reported as willing to stay with the club until 2025 if they’d like. Honestly though, such professions of loyalty haven’t been enough to silence rumors in the press for a number of other stars.

No matter how many times Gareth Bale has professed his desire to stay at Real Madrid the British tabloids continue to churn out stories of his impending transfer to Manchester United for example.

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Perhaps Premier League teams are down on players from Brazil. Their national embarrassment at the hands of Germany in the World Cup is still seared into the brains of many. Despite the successes of Brazilian luminaries like Neymar, the narrative around the world suggests that maybe Brazilian players aren’t the most sound investment. Still, it seems unlikely that the pendulum on Brazilian player opinion has really swung that far to the negative.

Hulk also isn’t a spring chicken. He’s 29-years-old and doesn’t exactly have the body type to age gracefully. He looks more like a rugby star than a footballer and teams could be scared off by that. The last thing a Premier League team wants is a bloated Hulk firing shots into the crowd and taking home massive wages.

There are a variety of small reasons that Hulk might not be a perfect fit for the Premier League. Each of them on their own is insignificant, but as a collective they seem to be enough to keep the Brazilian out of the English rumor mill. If he keeps pounding in goals at this pace, that is sure to change. He’s just one more high-profile Champions League performance from joining the likes of Ronaldo, Messi and Bale in the Premier League rumor mill.