Oscar: Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG- January 2017 (£60 million)
Oscar’s move to China at the peak of his career has baffled many experts, and what startled more was the money which was involved in the deal. £60 million was paid to Chelsea for the move to confirm making him the costliest player of Asia.
Hulk: Zenit St Petersburg to Shanghai SIPG – June 2016 (£46.1m)
The left-footed Brazilian who made a move to China despite having age by his side, and potential to do better in Europe. Many might consider this as a step back, but the Chinese league is keen to bring in more talented players to make it a more competitive league. Hulk has been in and out of Brazil team since the 2014 World Cup thrashing, and his move to China will have little impact on his bid for a place.
Alex Teixeira: Shakhtar Donetsk to Jiangsu Suning – January 2016 (£36.4m)
The third Brazilian on the list who made the World take notice of him, had big clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City lined up to sign him; chose an option that seems outrageous. He had a tremendous season, and a move to English Premier League seemed imminent. His move stirred controversy as many pundits and former players accused him of being money-minded.
Jackson Martinez – Atletico Madrid to Guangzhou Evergrande – January 2016 (£31m)
Jackson Martinez has been touted as a natural centre-forward with excellent finishing skills and his move to Atletico Madrid meant he could develop as a player. However, he didn’t receive much game time and was unimpressive, which led to a big money move to Evergrande. Martinez would be disappointed as he has only netted four times in 16 matches and has lacked conviction.
Axel Witsel: Zenit St Petersburg to Tianjin Quanjian – January 2017 (£18m)
The hard-working Belgian has received plaudits for his performance and looked set to make a move to Spain or Italy, but a hefty sum of money lured him to the Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian. Witsel didn’t try to justify his move and blatantly accepted that it was the money factor, which helped him make his mind.
Zhang Chengdong: Beijing Guoan to Hebei China Fortune – January 2017 (£17.4m)
This transfer could be seen as a measure of desperation as the Chinese league has insisted only three foreign players can be fielded. The former Rayo Vallecano man has been impressive, and his move to Hebei could be termed as a good snatch.
Alexandre Pato: Villarreal to Tianjin Quanjian – January 2017 (£15.5m)/
The list is flooded with talented Brazilian players who once dominated the European football, but a lump sum of money attracted them to China. Pato was once considered as the next Ronaldo, but injuries and lack of game time meant he could only be used as a super sub. His move from Villareal to Tianjin is baffling as he seemed to get on nicely in the Spanish League.
Gervinho: Roma to Hebei China Fortune FC – January 2016 (£15m)
A robust Winger, Gervinho once plied his trade for Arsenal and had a productive season with Roma before his move to China. Like Witsel he accepted that an amount of such magnitude is irrefutable. He had a decent season before an unfortunate injury looked to slow him down a couple of knots.
Graziano Pelle: Southampton to Shandong Luneng — June 2016 (£13m)
A decent World Cup campaign with Italy, a goal scoring season for Southampton saw offers from various clubs flooding in. Pelle ignored top European clubs for Shandong. He recently had a fallout with the National coach, and his attitude has irked many football experts.
Carlos Tevez: Boca Juniors to Shanghai Shenhua — January 2017 (£9m)
Tevez has played for top European clubs and was considered as a deadly forward whose runs and tricks could baffle any defender. His disciplinary attitude and his extravagant lifestyle made it hard for clubs to contain him. His move from Boca Juniors does not seem to be surprising, and Shanghai Shenhua looks to have pulled off a great deal at a modest cost.
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