Hulk & Witsel have ruined Zenit's game, says agent

The representative has slammed the Russian side's newest pair of signings, claiming that their huge price tags have likely disrupted the harmony within the team
Vladimir Abramov has criticised Hulk and Axel Witsel for impacting negatively on Zenit Saint Petersburg's fortunes since their arrivals from Portuguese football.

The Russians suffered a 1-0 defeat to Anderlecht in the Champions League on Tuesday, which saw them drop to last position in Group C with just three points to their name after four matches.

In an attempt to explain their recent poor form, the agent feels the pressure of the €80 million spent on both the Porto striker and Benfica midfielder is proving an excessive burden on Zenit's game.

“There’s too much talk about money,” he told reporters. "We all believed that Zenit would become stronger after buying Hulk and Witsel.

"They are really good players, but Hulk gets the ball and just rushes forward while Witsel tries to do something on his own. It must be said that with their arrival, Zenit’s game has fallen apart. They aren’t a unit anymore.”

Abramov then reflected on how the team looked prior to Hulk and Witsel's arrival, highlighting facets of their play which were missing during the match against the Belgians.

“Zenit was always known for their European style of play, with a lot of forward passes and high intensity, but during the game in Brussels, my only hope was that Vladimir Bystrov would race down the flank and cross the ball onto someone’s head,” he concluded.

The Russian title holders, who sit third in the league, are currently preparing for their match against Volga on November 11.