Over the years, there has been an influx of Asian players in the European football landscape.
Be it relaxation of work permits/visas or the general improvement in the competitiveness of various leagues across the continent, the stature of Asian players has been on the rise over the years.
Ten most valuable Asian players
Today, many skilful Asian players ply their trades in the top European leagues, and most of them are key players for their respective clubs.
On that note, let's take a look at the ten most valuable Asian players at the moment.
#10 Aaron Mooy (Australia) - €8.5 million
Though Aaron Mooy is not an 'Asian' player per se, he appears in this list because Australia happens to be a part of the Asian Football Confederation since 2006.
The 30-year-old striker played in the English Premier League with Huddersfield Town and Brighton & Hobe Albion, scoring nine goals across three seasons for the two clubs.
Mooy currently plies his trade with Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League, whom he joined last year.
#9 Takumi Minamino (Japan) - €10 million
After playing only a bit-part role in Liverpool's Premier League-winning campaign last season, Takumi Minamino joined Southampton in the 2021 winter transfer window.
Since his move away from Anfield, albeit on a loan deal for the rest of the season, the Japanese winger has had an immediate upturn in fortunes. After scoring just once in 19 Premier League games for the reigning champions, Minamino hit the ground running at Southampton and scored on his club debut.
His second goal in the competition helped Southampton earn a creditable 1-1 draw against Chelsea.
#8 Hee-chan Hwang (South Korea) - €11 million
Hee-chan Hwang has been a regular on the European scene for a while.
After making his professional debut with FC Liefering in the Austrian second division in 2014-15, the South Korean international arrived at Bundesliga club Hamburg four seasons later.
The 25-year-old forward, who plays for Leipzig now, has scored 17 times in various competitions for the club. Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche said after signing the player last year:
"In Hee-chan Hwang, we have signed a player who fits the profile of what we are looking for. He can play in any attacking position, on the wings or as a main man in the middle. He makes our attack more flexible with his speed and mobility."
#7 Mehdi Taremi (Iran) - €12 million
After commencing his professional career in his native Iran in 2011-12, Mehdi Taremi moved to European shores eight years later, joining Portuguese club Rio Ave.
A prolific 18-goal season in the Portuguese Liga meant that Porto came calling for his services.
The 28-year-old striker has impressed at his new surroundings. He has scored 15 goals in all competitions for the club, including the opener in Porto's 2-1 win over Juventus in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg.