5 Players That Left Europe Too Early
- These players had at least a couple more seasons in European top-flight football in them
#4 Axel Witsel: From Zenit to Tianjin Quanijin
Juventus though that they had their man, as 27-year-old Axel Witsel was Turin bound. Suddenly, the announcement changed and Witsel was heading over to China, leaving the bright lights of Turin behind.
In what looks like a purely money-driven move, Witsel spoke about how this was the right thing to do for his family, but leaving behind European football may not have been an ideal decision.
Witsel has spent two years of his prime playing with the tin-cans in the Chinese Super League and is rumoured to return to Europe as a Borussia Dortmund player. However, that doesn't change how one of the most talented players in the world left everything in the middle of his prime for China.
Even though his on paper contribution for Zenit the season prior to his departure were 6 goals and 5 assists, it was essentially the 3200 minutes that he played which impacted the team.
His presence on the pitch provided stability, something most of the elite European clubs crave. However, Witsel left them all hanging for China. Now that he is rumoured to return, we will see what will happen, but it is an undisputed fact that Witsel had left Europe too early.Published 30 Jul 2018, 12:08 IST