The great haul of China continues as Papiss Cisse is the next player to embark on a move to the Far East. He leaves behind Newcastle United for Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng.
The Senegalese striker ended his four and a half year Tyneside tenure and has moved to his new employers for an undisclosed fee
Cisse is probably best remembered for that stunning volley he scored against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in 2012. His partnership that season with Demba Ba lead to Newcastle to an impressive 5th place finish under Alan Pardew but since then it has been a case of diminishing returns from the former Freiburg player
That particular season saw his best return in terms of Premier League goals as he chipped in with 13 strikes compare that to last season when he only registered 3 and it’s fair to say that Cisse’s best days are behind him.
With Newcastle suffering the ignominy of relegation last season Rafa Benitez will be looking to overhaul his squad this summer. That will mean getting the big earners off the books as The Magpies prepare for life in The Championship.
While the exodus seems to be in full swing at St James Park it’s no real surprise that Cisse has jumped at the chance to move to China and collect a bumper pay day for his troubles. He now joins an ever expanding list of players who are perhaps cashing in on their careers for the easy money that the Chinese Super League offers.
Another player who could be joining the ranks of stars plying their trade over there is Southampton’s Graziano Pelle. Not only that the Italian international could very well be lining up with Cisse for Shandong Luneng.
That’s because current Shandong manager Felix Magath has reportedly tabled a bid for the man who scored twice in Euro 2016. The ex Fulham boss Magath is believed to want Pelle to complete his strike partnership and is hoping to beat a host of Italian clubs to Pelle’s signature with a bid of £13m on the table
If this is to happen then it will be a good bit of business for Southampton as they only paid £8m to Feyenoord for Pelle’s services but again it must be frustrating for Saints fans as the annual player purge once again seems to be in full swing.
It would also be quite a surprising move for Pelle as he was linked with a calibre of clubs such as Juventus and ones that could see him playing in the Champions League next season but Pelle seems ready to chuck all that in and collect the inflated pay packet that will come with his signing.
Are these players blazing a trail for future generations or are they just cashing in their careers for what could almost be considered semi-retirement. China have plans to be a world footballing superpower by 2050 and if they keep spending money at this rate they are going about it right way.
It also is a massive help for English clubs as before the Chinese market opened up you could have the prospect of having players on their books that are on high wages and therefore difficult to offload but thanks to the emergence of the Chinese Super League and their money no object policy that is now longer a problem.
A win win of sorts I guess, unless you are a Southampton fan as you wonder when any of that near £60m in transfer fees that you are set to recoup from the sales of Mane, Wanayama and potentially Pelle are going to be used to actually purchase some reinforcements.