What’s being said about Oscar, 18 months after he signed for Shanghai SIPG

  • Rob Swan

The £52 million transfer of Oscar to Chinese outfit Shanghai SIPG sent shockwaves across the world back in December 2016.

Although Premier League clubs were used to losing their best players to Spain’s La Liga, they were not used to losing stars to teams from the Chinese Super League (CSL).

Clubs from China were offering ludicrous sums of money to various players – Southampton striker Graziano Pelle, for example, moved to Shandong Luneng on a £260,000-a-week deal – and heads were being turned.

Diego Costa’s relationship with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte deteriorated beyond repair following a training ground argument sparked after the striker was tempted by a lucrative move to China.

Conte had already lost one player to the CSL and was not prepared to lose another.

Oscar, per a Daily Mail report at the time, become the world’s highest paid player after completing his big-money move for the CSL.

Shanghai SIPG were paying him an astronomical £400,000-a-week – or £20.8 million a year.

How’s Oscar getting on in China?

But 18 months after his transfer, how has the Brazilian playmaker been getting on? The 26-year-old has dropped off the radar for the large majority of European football fans. Unless you go out of way to watch CSL matches, you probably wouldn’t have a clue whether he’s been a hit or a flop.

However, Asian football journalist John Duerden was asked about Oscar on a recent episode of the BBC’s World Football Phone-In podcast and he revealed exactly how the Brazil international is getting on over in Shanghai.

“He’s a bit hit and miss, Oscar,” Duerden said. “He hit the headlines last season when he sparked the biggest brawl you’ve ever seen.”

Indeed, you can watch that video, from last June, here…

‘Hulk is a more consistent performer than Oscar’

“He’s scored some great goals this season in the Champions League and his club Shanghai SIPG are going very well,” Duerden added, “they’re top of the league at the moment and the last seven seasons Guangzhou Evergrande have been champions but this could be the season that run is broken.

“Shanghai have never won the league before. They’ve come second before and have been semi-finalists in the Champions League last year.

“Oscar doesn’t perform [well] every week but he’s done enough to help SIPG climb to the top of the table.

“So, he’s doing pretty well but Hulk is the one who gets the headlines and is a more consistent performer, week-in, week-out.”

Oscar isn’t ripping up the Chinese top flight, then. For £400,000-a-week. Shanghai SIPG probably expected a lot more from their star player.

It sounds like Hulk, who earns almost £100,000-a-week less than Oscar, is the team’s talisman.

However, if Oscar, who has scored three goals in eight league appearances this season, helps Shanghai SIPG win the title and ends Guangzhou’s era of dominance in the process, you suspect his employers will regard the deal as money very well spent.

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