Carlos Tevez, Oscar, Axel Witsel and Jon Obi Mikel. These are just four international players to have made big-money moves to China during this January transfer window.
Given the level of investment in the country, more are expected to follow, but Arsène Wenger has warned the Chinese Football Association that it will take more than just high-profile signings to develop a competitive structure.
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"It’s a slow process of creating a football culture"
“You do not create a top league overnight, it demands years of hard work and culture,” the manager said. “Professional football in England was created 150 years ago but we still struggle!”
“I believe it’s a slow process of creating a football culture. Football is quite strange because you are educated as a little boy, you hear about football from your parents and you give that to the next generation. That takes time to be a part of the population.
“In China, it’s new. I know that well because when I went to Japan it was 1995, and the professional league was created in 1993 so it was the third year of professional football in Japan. You expect reflexes from people who are not there, who are not used to the culture of professional football.
“It will take time, and even then we do not know if China will still do it in 10 years. Sometimes it’s a political decision which can change. I personally am very happy and I expect India to come to the game. I hope it will happen.”
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