RAY Wilkins does not believe Chelsea target Hulk is in the same class as departed legend Didier Drogba.
Drogba is bound for China having bowed out of his Chelsea career following the club’s dramatic capture of the elusive Champions League trophy in Munich.
The Ivorian scored a late equaliser to force extra-time in the final against Bayern Munich in May to cap off a glittering career for the 34-year-old.
Porto’s Brazilian hitman Hulk has been identified as a potential replacement for Drogba, but the Blues are struggling to strike a deal with the Portuguese giants for his signature.
Former Chelsea assistant Wilkins first came across the powerful striker during his time as Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant in 2009 in a Champions League clash between the two clubs.
But having witnessed the powerful striker’s abilities first-hand from the dugout, Wilkins was left underwhelmed by the 25-year-old.
"I was at Chelsea on a couple of occasions when we played against Hulk," explained Wilkins. "He’s not in the class of Drogba, but then not a lot of people are. He’s going to be an extremely difficult person to replace."
Hulk will be in London this summer as he takes part in the Olympic Games but has denied he has agreed personal terms with Roberto Di Matteo’s side.
"I have done nothing with Chelsea or any other club," he said.
"I have four more years on my contract with Porto and I’m focusing on the national team. I haven’t talked to anyone.
"I don’t follow negotiations closely as that will make me lose my focus. I let my agent deal with that stuff."
Porto are understood to be demanding a fee in excess of £40million for the Brazilian and Wilkins feels that a solution to the problem lies far closer to home.
"I honestly think that with Drogba leaving this summer we will see a far better Fernando Torres this year," he said.
"He had the big man always looking down upon him last season and that’s not easy because someone with charisma and the ability of Drogba can weigh on top of you."
Should Hulk arrive at Stamford Bridge he will be in good company, with compatriots David Luiz, Ramires, Lucas Piazon already there and Oscar expected to sign from Internacional.
Wilkins added: "I think the important thing is when the Brazilian players come in that they get into the culture of our country, not only as a footballer but as a person as well. The sooner they amalgamate with the country and the football set-up the better for them."
Ray Wilkins carried the Olympic flame through the streets of Egham on Tuesday, on behalf of Samsung – a presenting partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
He is supporting Samsung’s charity initiative, the Samsung Hope Relay, where for every mile you run, walk, or cycle, Samsung will donate £1 to children’s charities. To take part, download the free Samsung Hope Relay app by texting ‘HOPE RELAY’ to 61116.