Chanathip Songkrasin seals permanent move to Consadole Sapporo
J-League side Consadole Sapporo have taken up the option to sign Thai star Chanathip Songkrasin on a permanent contract from SCG Muangthong United. The 24-year-old has been on loan with the club since 2017 and has now taken the option to move to Hokkaido permanently with this new deal.
Fox Sports reports that this deal will come into effect on February 1st, 2019, which is when his loan deal is set to expire. The Japanese club has exercised a pre-existing clause in his contract to take full ownership of the Thai superstar.
During his time in the Thai League, Chanathip represented two Bangkok-based clubs; BEC Tero and SCG Muangthong United. He was a crucial centrepiece in the latter's title-winning campaign of 2016 and is widely considered to be one of the shining lights of his generation.
The diminutive attacking midfielder has also enjoyed major success with his country. He first emerged as a superstar in the 2014 Asian Games, leading Thailand's U-23 team to fourth place in Seoul, South Korea. He has amassed 45 international caps with the senior team since 2012 and helped the War Elephants with both the 2014 and 2016 AFF Championships, winning the MVP award in both.
Consadole has had a fantastic campaign this season, rising as high as fifth place in the table under the stewardship of former Urawa Red Diamonds coach Mihailo Petrovic. Chanathip's permanent addition to their team will add to the attacking talent that has seen them rise up the table after surviving a relegation battle last season.
This transfer is a testament to Chanathip's ability and the extent to which he has been able to impress in his new surroundings and environment. His initial loan move has sparked a wave of Thai players moving overseas, which was seen as a major step in improving the Thai national team.