Carrasco may quit Dalian Yifang with Arsenal waiting in the wings

CSL Opinion

It has been well documented that players hailing from South America and Europe can earn big money by making the switch to sign for a team plying their trade in the Chinese Super League.

Very often stars such as Paulinho at Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, Javier Mascherano at Hebei China Fortune and Hulk at Shanghai SIPG can almost double their money by penning lucrative deals with clubs.

The lure for the clubs comes in the shape of utilising their skills on the pitch but also harnessing the publicity garnered by the association with such big names.

But although a switch can be highly lucrative in terms of wages, it can also work the other way in terms of the player’s profile. Let’s face it, even though the CSL continues to grow at a decent rate, it doesn’t offer players the platform to showcase their ability as much as the top leagues around Europe for instance.

This could be seen as very much the case for Yannick Carrasco, 25, who is enjoying his time in China with Dalian Yifang but who feels as if his future is in doubt with regards to his international team, Belgium, as a result of his omission from, for instance, the show windows of the Bundesliga, La Liga or indeed the Premier League.

And that probably explains exactly why Carrasco, the former Atletico Madrid and Monaco winger, is looking to leave Dalian Yifang. Luckily for him, Arsenal are said to be keen on recruiting his services and he could well be on his way to the Emirates Stadium this summer, according to reports.

The Gunners are said to have held talks with Dalian Yifang about a potential loan deal during the January transfer window but failed to come to an agreement with the Chinese Super League club. This could be resurrected in the summer, of course. For Carrasco has revealed that he is keen to return to Europe as he is concerned about his opportunities of playing for Belgium’s national side while he remains in the CSL.

He said: “I would love to return to Europe. A lot of clubs were interested in me. We tried to find a solution in January that would enable me to leave Dalian Yifang. But I can understand the club’s thinking. They wanted me to stay. I still feel okay in China. But I have lost my starting place in the Belgian national side. This can happen with a team of their quality. With the level of competition there will always be times when you don’t get to play a lot.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese Football Association has announced that all clubs in its top-flight Chinese Super League must have an affiliated women’s soccer team by 2020.

The newly-founded women’s teams will play in the Women’s Super League (WSL) and its sub-divisions. The CFA’s acting president Du Zhaocai said: “We have recently announced fresh plans focusing on promoting women’s football by enhancing the organisation and management, youth development, competitions and coaching courses.”