Oscar recently completed a €60million switch to Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG, from Chelsea, and he is set to pocket around £400,000 a week. His transfer fees is the 7th highest of all time, while it’s the highest Chelsea have ever received for selling a player.
Oscar’s new bumper wages is also double what he initially earned at Chelsea, and as the club’s coach put it, the huge money being spent on players by the Chinese Super League clubs is a “danger for all teams in the world”.
But how true is Conte’s assertion? Are the mega-money deals the Asian clubs continue to lure the brightest players with a blessing or curse to the round-leather game?
Tevez is also said to be close to securing a deal that would see him become the highest-paid footballer on earth, with Shanghai Shenhua set to pay him £615,000 a week to lure him away from Boca Juniors.
Lavezzi, Hulk, Gervinho, Texeira, Paulinho, Martinez and a host of top footballers continue to ply their trades in the Chinese Super League, while Fabregas, Di Maria, Turan and a few others are also being linked with a switch ahead of the new season which starts in February.
The CSL isn’t just another MLS or Qatar where players retire, stars in their prime and peak are moving en masse to China, and the cash is too much a temptation to reject. However, there aren’t forced deals, and the money isn’t just the only factor here. First off, players are willingly moving, play football and pocket cool cash, regardless of the quality or popularity.
The Chinese Super League is just taking the initiative and becoming the next “EPL” by attracting the biggest players to themselves. It’s a paradigm shift in the making, and in few decades’ time, we would probably prefer to watch this league more than others for the quality players it parades.
Right now, the Chinese Super League is a blessing to players willing to make the most money, and a curse to European clubs unable to keep their stars.