The European transfers silly season is over and yet there are tons of rumors flying around about Chinese players these days. We recently reported about a two million euro bid from Tottenham for Shenhua starlet Feng Renliang, today there are rumors about a number of other players.
It seems the stands in Shenzhen will be full of scouts next month as the Chinese team plays a friendly against the UAE and then takes on Iraq in a critical World Cup qualifying match. The EPL will be well represented by scouts in the crowd, but there is also some interest from Italian and other top European league sides.
Many of the players that have piqued the attention of the European leagues are players who already have experience abroad. Hao Junmin, Yu Dabao, and Feng Xiaoting have spent time overseas and have a good understanding of what it takes to go abroad and break into a new club. Chen Tao’s name is among those that the scouts want to see, no surprise considering how often European teams have flirted with the midfielder over the years. The other being named as receiving some interest from Europe is Yu Hanchao, a bit of a surprise as though he’s had two good seasons in the Chinese Super League, he only got a brief look under Gao Hongbo and has yet to be called into Camacho’s camp.
I would always advise taking these rumors with a grain of salt, especially as it seems odd these would come when the transfer window is going to be closed for a number of months. Whether the names of the above players are seriously under consideration or chosen more because they are “familiar” from their time playing abroad is unknown as well.
What is fact, though, is that European clubs have mined a lot of the top talent from Japan and Korea over the past few years and are certainly going to look to China as an unexplored frontier. I’m not sure about which players may be able to go in the January transfer window, but if China can right the boat and do well in qualifying, the scouts will come in larger and larger numbers and we’ll start seeing more Chinese players in top leagues in Europe. And this time, they’ll actually be given a shot.