The Chinese Super League has made a sudden and major splash in the transfer market in recent weeks.
Chinese clubs have spent £199.5m this transfer window to sign established internationals, and both current and former Premier League players as the country aim to enhance their footballing brand.
Top Liverpool target Alex Teixeira became the Chinese Super League’s latest coup – and third record buy in the space of a fortnight – when he agreed a £38m move from Shakhtar Donetsk to Jiangsu Suning.
SEE MORE: Alex Teixeira: Liverpool target makes £38m move to China worth £185,000 per week
A division previously seen as little other than a retirement home for ageing players is quickly developing into one which can rival the major European leagues for the world’s biggest transfers.
Here is an all-star XI which the Chinese Super League have managed to attract. Warning – it is a tad imbalanced – they are not splashing out billions and billions of yen on goalkeepers and defenders!
GK: Zeng Cheng (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Goalkeeper of the Chinese champions and number one for the national team.
CB: Matthew Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown)
Australian defender with 30 international caps. Trust me, it gets better quickly…
CB: Zhang Limpeng (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Nicknamed ‘the Chinese Sergio Ramos’. Might play alongside him soon at this rate.
CB: Stephane Mbia (Hebei China Fortune)
The ex-Queens Park Rangers defender joined the newly-promoted outfit last month.
MR: Ramires (Jiangsu Suning)
The £25m signing of the Chelsea midfielder, who scored a debut volley, was a real statement maker, and Chinese clubs have not stopped spending since.
CM: Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Once a member of Tottenham’s ‘magnificent seven’, Spurs managed to flog the World Cup midfielder to Guangzhou for about £10m in the 2015 summer.
CM: Fredy Guarin (Shanghai Shenhua)
The ex-Inter Milan midfielder and Colombia international gave up a long-standing Premier League ambition for a lucrative pay packet in the Far East.
ML: Alex Teixeira (Jiangsu Suning)
Seemed destined to join Liverpool next summer before having his head turned. With a reported £185,000-per-week salary, we can understand how…
ST: Jackson Martinez (Guangzhou Evergrande)
One of the world’s best strikers was linked with Arsenal and Chelsea before Guangzhou paid Atletico Madrid a huge £32m for him earlier this week.
ST: Gervinho (Hebei China Fortune)
The former Arsenal cult hero left Roma to triple his wages at last season’s Chinese second-tier champions and will play alongside Mbia from next campaign.
ST: Demba Ba (Shanghai Shenhua)
The 30-year-old former Chelsea and Newcastle United striker has a lot of gas left in his tank, but is currently banging the goals home – six in 11 games – in Shanghai.
As you can see, a bit imbalanced! But the Chinese Premier League is famous for its lack of width. Kidding, it isn’t famous for anything. Though that looks like changing…
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