7 players who surprised everyone by moving to the Chinese Super League
The Chinese Super League has recently been a big attraction to several players in Europe. The teams in the two tiers of Chinese football have spent a combined amount of €200 million in the January transfer window alone, making them the biggest spenders in Asia.It is a big surprise to see players who have played in the top tiers of European football make a move to China but, in this day and age, money and wages are becoming a hard offer to turn down for a footballer. We have generally seen players moving to China because of a lack of game time at their current clubs, or to earn one last big paycheck as they enter the fag end of their careers.But even after taking these factors into consideration we are still left astonished when a household name comes up in the news. Here are seven players who shocked everyone by opting to play in China:
#1 Jackson Matinez - Guangzhou Evergrande
The most recent of the Chinese transfer saga, Jackson Martinez made the move to Guangzhou Evergrande from Atletico Madrid in the recently concluded January transfer window, sending shockwaves throughout the footballing world. The 29-year-old only moved to the Madrid outfit in the summer after gaining the reputation of a prolific goal scorer with Porto in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
Martinez had a tough few months at Atletico, scoring only twice in 15 La Liga appearances. There was also a report of a fallout between the player and manager Diego Simeone, with the latter asking for the forward to be placed on the transfer list.
Martinez though was reluctant at first for a move but eventually agreed to sign for the Chinese club. People were expecting the Colombian hitman to make the move to another European team considering he was still only 29 and had a few good years left in him.
The likes of Arsenal and Tottenham were reportedly after his signature in the summer when Atletico swooped in. But unfortunately, they have probably lost their chance to sign him for good. Martinez has now become the most expensive transfer in Chinese history breaking a record which was set only a week ago by fellow South American Ramires.