DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 18: FC Porto players celebrate with the trophy uring the UEFA Europa League Final between FC Porto and SC Braga at Dublin Arena on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Now that we've pretty much settled our managerial hunt, the focus of our transfer talk should begin to shift back to players again. Anytime a team hires a high profile manager they inevitably become linked to several players who played under him elsewhere. When we hired Jose Mourinho from Porto he brought with him Paulo Ferriera and Ricardo Carvalho. When we replaced him with Scolari (ugh), we saw Deco and Bosingwa signed who had been playing for him internationally. Guus replaced him and pushed us to sign Zhirkov (even though he was leaving).
In the case of Villas Boas, we're already beginning to see the effect of this phenomenon with Radamel Falcao. Several sources have noted that he recently switched agents and seems focused on moving to a bigger club and league. After his record setting Europa League campaign that seems to make some sense. Two days ago, we started seeing plenty of reports linking him to Chelsea (without any sort of source that I've seen). After the jump we'll take a look at sveral Porto players who may be of interest to us.
Falcao seems like the natural place to start with this exercise. The 5'10" 25 year old Colombian striker is noted for having a deft finishing touch and being remarkably good in the air despite his height. He's good with either foot, and can also play as a support striker or on either wing (although he's best as a traditional center forward). Here's a little sampling of Falcao's work in front of the net:
As you can see, the guy just has an eye for goal (and he does a mean chicken dance). There is some question of how well his game would translate to England, as the defenders there tend to be bigger and better positionally. Arsenal and Liverpool have reportedly been interested as well. Here's a cool top ten goals from his time in Porto. Number four is particularly fun to re-watch, and the top two are just gorgeous:
Our next Porto "target" is a favorite of mine. Hulk is a 5'11" Brazilian capable of playing anywhere on the attack. He spent the majority of this season on the right wing, but has had plenty of experience in the center of the line and on the left as well. The 24 year old is known for his speed and incredible strength (see "hulk"), and he's very good in the air as well. I don't think there is any question that his game would translate to England, as he plays a very physical game for a Brazilian. Here's some highlights of the Hulk:
After Hulk, we move on to Joao Moutinho. Moutinho is a versatile 24 year old midfielder who can operate in any position along the line. He's most comfortable in a more central role, and is noted for covering a considerable distance in every match. At 5'8 he's not as physical as some, but he's very technically sound in his tackling. He's also a very astute passer who sees the pitch well, and makes exceptional runs into space after the ball leaves his foot. Here's a quick look at Moutinho:
He's not the pure creative midfielder that we've been linked to thus far, but his versatility would be a tremendous asset for a team which seems to lack that particular trait in most of it's regular players. I'd expect to start hearing rumors linking us to Moutinho soon, as he was really the motor behind that Porto team last season.
All three probably have the talent to fit into the Chelsea squad and help out from day one. Falcao may not be as natural a fit due to Torres and Drogba, but the other two would fill obvious needs from the second they arrive. What are your thoughts on these three? Any that you'd be targeting, or would you be focusing your attention elsewhere?