Once the British transfer window closed on Friday night, you may of thought that the so-called ‘big deals’ of the summer had already been completed. In fact we were all wrong.
Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg splashed out a whopping £64 million on Benfica midfielder Axel Witsel and Porto’s Brazilian winger Hulk.
It has been reported that Zenit had paid around £32 Million for each player, signalling their intent to seriously compete in the Champions League. Both players have previously played in the elite competition in Europe and in my opinion, though the fees are very hefty, they have brought in two very exciting and talented players, who will fit in superbly. Witsel, is a very clever player, usually playing as a deep-lying playmaker, who can get box to box. He is a brilliant passer of the ball and I think he will add a little bit of creativity to Zenit, as well as protecting their midfield.
Hulk on the other hand, is regarded as one of the greatest players around. Chelsea were huge admirers of the Brazilian international but were too shy to cough up a huge transfer fee. Porto were virtually a one man team last season and they heavily relied on Hulk throughout the season. He is capable of playing on either wing and can even be deployed as a striker, he is quick, skilful and has a rocket of a left-foot, he really can strike them from distance.
The signing of these players is very pleasing for the supporters of Zenit, but it also really signals the ambition of the club. They are prepared to pay big fees, but not any player, they have brought in two top players, who really will add to the team.
Zenit have been drawn in a very difficult Champions league group alongside Milan, Anderlecht and Malaga, but with these two additions, you get the feeling that they should be able to reach the knockout stages.
This is what Zenit spokesman Dmitri Tsimmerman had to say about the two deals.
“We were trying to sign them before the 3 September deadline for the Champions League so they can play for us in that competition as well as the Russian league,”
If you know look at their squad, it is very frightening, they have a variety of attacking options and they have players with a winning mentality. They are currently top of the Russian Premier League, after playing seven matches so far. Two very smart signings for a club that is now striving towards success, big step into the future for Zenit.
Those deals were completed under the noses of everybody the least Zenit fans should expect this season is the league title! Zenit may surprise a few people this summer in the Champions League, definitely a team to look out for following these huge arrivals!
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