Chinese Exodus: Effect on Nigerian Football

Three Nigerian Super Eagles superstars have moved from their European club sides to the big spending Chinese super League. The trio of Captain John Mikel Obi, Strikers Odion Ighalo and Brown Ideye moved to the lowly rated, big money Chinese super league during the 2017 January transfer window. The question on everyone's lips is the effect of these move on these superstars and Nigerian Football.
mikel, ighalo and ideye moved to china this year

It is an age long-held belief that the best footballers ply their trade in Europe which is considered the pinnacle of world football where football of the highest standard is played. Every aspiring footballer dreams of playing in a European football league especially the English premier league, the Spanish La Liga and the german Bundesliga. Nigerian footballers are not left out. There are many Nigerian footballers playing for football clubs scattered around Europe waiting for the big break to play for one of the big global football clubs.

However, all that seems to be changing as the Chinese Super League is determined to attract the biggest names in the game to play in China. This they do by offering mouth watering pay packages to this players. Captain John Mikel Obi who played for the Chelsea football club of London signed a 3 years deal with China’s Tianjin TEDA.

Former Watford striker, Odion Ighalo who successfully netted 16 EPL goals in 37 matches, on January 31, completed his move to the CSL side, Changchua Yatai, for a whooping £20m.

Another Super Eagles player, Brown Ideye also joined john Mikel Obi at Tiajin TEDA after switching from Greek side, Olympiacos.

There have been concerns on the effect of these transfers on the game of these players with reports of the plans by the Tiajin TEDA coach, Jaime Pacheco to deploy Captain John Mikel Obi as a central defender.

It can be recalled that Mikel Obi came to limelight due to his amazing displays as a playmaker for the Nigerian under 21 side in 2005. He was however converted to a holding midfielder at Chelsea blunting his ball playing skills. If he's eventually converted to a defender, his game will be completely destroyed. And the effect on the Super eagles Team will be catastrophic.