Wu Lei - first Chinese player to score in La Liga


Wu Lei is a Chinese football golden boy, and there have been cries for him to trot off to Europe for a while now. Not because the Chinese wanted him out of the Chinese Super League, but because they wanted to show the world that a Chinese player can cut the mustard abroad.

Wu Lei finally took the plunge to move abroad where he signed for Barcelona based Espanyol. Some folk thought he will be brilliant, some folk thought he would be heading back to China with his tail between his legs. Let's see which side look like being right.

Wu Lei bangs his first goal  

Since Wu's move to Espanyol, he has so far played 5 matches, and yesterday he finally scored his first goal. The ball finds it's way Wu just outside the Valladolid box, he takes a touch to control it, then powers on towards the goal.

As the keeper comes out, Wu keeps his head, keeps his cool, and then slots it past the keeper into the bottom left-hand corner. Booooooom! With love from all of China as Wu Lei becomes the first Chinese footballer to score a goal in Spain's La Liga.

Now that he has his first goal, and seems to have already become a key player in Espanyol's team, we could be seeing more goals from Wu. He certainly knows where the net is, as his goal record shows and the fears over him being able to transition to a 'superior quality' league seem to be looking misplaced. If your a good player it doesn't matter what league you move to you will still be a good player. It is still early days but that is what Wu Lei and all his supporters are wanting and hoping he will prove. 

Could open the door for more Chinese players

If Wu Lei does well in Spain, there could be a possibility that it could open the door for more Chinese players making a move to Europe. There have been a few who have tried and failed but none of them has been as high profile as Wu Lei, and if he manages to carve out a European career then he will show that it is possible and it can be done.

It will not only encourage Chinese players in the CSL (Chinese Super League) though, it will also show European clubs that there is value to be had in China and the rest of Asia for that matter. There is quality to be found in Asia's top leagues if clubs are willing to search for it. In today's market where top players cost upwards of 50 to 60 million quid each, then to me, it would make logical sense having scouts sifting about in 'cheaper' markets for players. The reason I suppose they don't is that it could be a lot more difficult to find someone worth buying, but make no doubt about it, there is value in China, Japan, South Korea and even certain countries in South East Asia like Thailand and Vietnam that clubs could exploit more but don't.

Wu Lei could be the man who opens the door for more transfers between Europe and Asia especially if he goes on to become a raging success in Spain.

Still early days

I must admit, I was one of the doubters that it was going to be a successful move. So far, I look like I'm going to be very wrong about that as Wu Lei looks to cement his place in the first team at Espanyol, and his first goal will go some way to doing this.

I just thought he wasn't going to cut the mustard, it's still early days but if he keeps going like this, then he will prove me and a lot of other doubters wrong. Quality footballers will be quality no matter what league they play in and I guess I got caught up in the media claptrap of thinking it would be too much of a jump from the CSL to La Liga. The journey Wu is on is still a long one, but he has started well and looks to be showing he has the quality needed to cut it in Europe's big leagues. All of China will be watching their golden boy progress.

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