Friday, June 2, 2023

China Calling: Will This Watford Star Take The Easier Route After Rejecting Them Once?

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

The football fraternity have started to take the financial muscle of the Chinese Super League very seriously. Every now and then, the lucrative pastures of China blessed with humongous amounts of cash have urged many blockbuster football stars to take the flight to the Far East in the quest of bettering their bank accounts multiple times. The game of football has become a serious business, and quite rightly so.

The lavishly spending league have acquired the likes of Hulk, Jackson Martinez, Oscar, John Obi Mikel, Alex Witsel and Carlos Tevez (to name a few) already and interestingly, they are in no mood to stop. The abnormal amount of wages have tempted the stars to put pen to the paper, for this profession isn’t a lengthy one by any means and the players desire to bag most of the opportunities. Money is the primary reason why footballers ply their trade, don’t they?

The deals to hit the front page of major dailies, courtesy of the Chinese wealth, are likely to increase in this transfer window. It is believed that Shanghai SIPG are pursuing Watford’s Odion Ighalo in order to lure him away from the Vicarage Road and partner him with Carlos Tevez. The Nigerian international has been on the radar of Hebei China Fortune and Shanghai SIPG for a year or so, with the latter reluctant to give up on their ambition of signing him. The Hornets’ striker has bagged 33 goals from 91 appearances for the club and is a perfect utility player for any squad.

Shanghai SIPG, managed by Gus Poyet, are well aware of the critical situation in which Ighalo and Watford are finding themselves in. Under the tutelage of Walter Mazzarri, Ighalo has failed to replicate his form of last season and his statistics do reflect the same. 1 goal from 17 appearances with just 1 assist to accounting for, he has been below average this season and the Chinese outfit are unwilling to leave any stone unturned to pounce on the opportunity. Honestly speaking, the Chinese League would be an easier venture than the unmatchable hostility which the English League offers.

Joining to exodus to China for reclaiming their lost status (or bettering their wages for that matter) is becoming a usual affair at the moment. It is true that the Asian football leagues are miles behind the likes of Premier League, German Bundesliga or La Liga but the standards are definitely going to improve with the plethora of stars they have already roped in and the high-profile ones they are after (if they can pull them too). The interest for the game of football is rapidly rising in China, but will such monstrous amount not cause trouble to the other clubs around the world?

Food for thought.

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