Nigerian Striker, Obafemi Martins Joins Chinese Club

The Nigerian super eagle striker, Obafemi Martins has join the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhau in a multi-million dollar deal.

The 31-year-old striker made the switch from Seattle Sounders where he scored 43 goals in 84 appearances for the MLS club he joined in March 2013.

Though he was linked with a move back to the Premier League in the January window, but British agent Tony Harris along with the Martin’s attorney Soroosh Abdi brokered the deal, taking the Super Eagle to China instead.

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Martins, who joins Senegalese striker Demba Ba at the Shanghai club, became the latest high-profile player to make the switch to the cash-rich Super League.

Past Record

Obafemi Martins burst into the international limelight at Italian side Inter Milan before switching to Newcastle in August 2006. He scored 35 goals in his three seasons with the Magpies.

The striker, who has also had spells in Germany, Russia and Spain, will be remembered for scoring Birmingham City’s winning goal in their 2-1 Carling Cup final victory over Arsenal in 2011 – the club’s first silverware since 1963.

He has scored 18 goals in 41 international appearances for three-time African champions Nigeria and was voted Africa’s most promising talent in 2003 and 2004.

Other big players signed in the Chinese Shanghai Shenhau 2016 include: Colombia striker Jackson Martinez, former Chelsea midfielder Ramires, Cameroon captain Stephane Mbia and ex-Serie A duo Gervinho and Fredy Guarin. 

Chinese football clubs has been attracting top players and international team mates from countries like Brazil. Among the most famous is former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paulinho who signed for champions Guangzhou Evergrande in June 2015 on a four-year deal, for a fee of £9.9m.

The world-renowned former Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan striker Robinho also played for Guangzhou last season. He also appeared in a side that featured several Brazilians and which continues to be managed by Brazil’s former World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

According to BBC, the money seem to be a major criteria which draws these players towards the Chinese clubs. For a 29-year-old Ghanaian forward, Asamoah Gyan, who spent just one full season in the Premier League, to earn around $350,000 per week (£247,000) is an affirmation – that is a weekly amount only bettered by a handful of football’s finest like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Source: BBC