Australia and Shanghai Shenhua forward Tim Cahill has questioned whether the recent influx of foreign attackers into the Chinese Super League (CSL) is good for the country’s national team.
Cahill, who has spent one season playing in the CSL, has been joined by a number of big-name signings in the current transfer period, with Gervinho (Roma), Ramires (Chelsea), Demba Ba (Besiktas), Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk), and Jackson Martinez (Atletico Madrid), among those who have swapped Europe for China.
As is the case with the age-old debate regarding whether the number of foreigners in the English Premier League is bad for the England national team, Cahill has queried whether the recent influx of attacking players is good for China as it will hinder the development of much-needed Chinese strikers.
“With this investment in the players, there’s a catch 22. Does it help the Chinese? To a certain extent, no,” he told FOX Sports’ Shootout program.
“The most difficult area for the Chinese national team is attacking, they can’t score goals. Everything else, they’re technically gifted, they’re great, I’ve spent a year with these kids.
“But when you sign players like this (Alex Teixeira, Jackson Martinez) everything is up to us. If we don’t deliver, it doesn’t happen.”
Prior to the recent spending spree, the €14 million Guangzhou Evergrande paid Tottenham for Paulinho in June 2015 was the biggest transfer fee in CSL history. However, in the last month that record has been broken four times, with the €50 million paid by Jiangsu Suning for Teixeira the new record – and Cahill doesn’t expect the spending to stop anytime soon.
“When I first went to China I knew the vision, I knew what was behind it and I knew what they wanted to do. To see where it’s come to now and where we’re at, it’s pretty crazy,” Cahill said.
“They’ve got the power and when they want something, they get it and when they don’t want something they get rid of it. It’s pretty much like a revolving door, you see a lot of players coming in and a lot of players going.
“It’s crazy to see but this is only going to get worse. This is going to be massive, soon they’ll break the $100 million (€63 million) mark easily.”