Axel Witsel this week signed a four-year contract with German top flight side Borussia Dortmund. The Belgium midfielder leaves Tianjin Quanjian after a successful year and a half in China.
A great move for Axel Witsel
The transfer has been confirmed by Borussia Dortmund although it will take a few days for FIFA approval. While it is reported the transfer fee paid is €20m as this was his release fee. This now leaves the CSL club with three foreign players for the remainder of the season (Alexandre Pato, Anthony Modeste, Kwon Kyung-won).
This also shows that the agenda that is span by the media in the west about the CSL being a place players go to kill their careers is nonsense. As since Witsel moved to China he not only shone in the league but has also been a stand out for his country.
Now with Borussia Dortmund, the 29-year-old will feel he can improve even further. The German side under new coach Lucien Favre it's already been reported is looking to close the gap in the Bundesliga.
The player as clearly got the move he was after also as he said "It was my goal to return to Europe from China after the World Cup, I am happy and also proud to be able to play for Borussia Dortmund. I didn't need much time after our first talks."
He then went on to talk about how great it will be to play for such a well-supported club, saying "Borussia Dortmund to me are one of the best clubs in Europe. To be honest, I can't wait to play in front of 81,000."
What this means for Tianjin Quanjian
Meanwhile, while this is a great move for the player and his new club it is a major blow for Tianjin Quanjian. As his club had hopped with their transfer window closed they would keep hold of him till the end of the season.
Coach Paulo Sousa will be disappointed also as he expected the player back in training this week. He will now, however, have to do without him or a replacement for the remainder of the season.
With the CSL club now sitting seventh in the league chances of success, this season has taken a huge blow. As not only have they lost the Belgium international they also have a host of injury and suspension worries.
They will now face Japan's Kashima Antlers in the Asian Champions League in late August with a depleted squad.