The Chinese Super League's 10 most expensive signings - how have they fared?

Oscar & Hulk

West Ham's Marko Arnautovic appears to be on the verge of sealing a £50m move to the Chinese Super League.

Despite his impressive form in the Premier League, the Austrian simply cannot turn down the opportunity to heavily increase his salary at the age of 29.

But is moving to China a guaranteed positive for his footballing career? Well, we've looked at how the 10 most expensive signings in the Super League's history have fared.

For reference, Arnautovic would be the division's second most expensive player of all time if he moves for the reported fee.


Watford decided to cash in on the Nigerian striker back in 2017 after some disappointing form, but he's rediscovered his mojo out in Asia.

In 55 games, he's notched 36 goals and has even been linked with a short-term move to Barcelona in this window.

A resounding success story from the Chinese Super League.


The Brazilian's move to China in 2016 got off to a great start, playing on a regular basis and even scoring goals, 11 in 49 games to be exact.

Ramires in China

However, he longed for a move back to Europe and his determination to force through a move back to Benfica didn't exactly go down well.

The 31-year-old now in Jiangsu's reserve team and his future is well and truly up in the air.


The French striker was one of the finest in the world at FC Koln back in 2016/17, but was keen to live out his peak years in China.

Modeste with Tianjin

And he scored 16 goals in 29 games, but in the summer of 2018, he tried to get his contract terminated at Tianjin.

Koln announced he had returned to the club back in November, but he's yet to make an appearance due to ongoing legal issues with the Chinese side - a messy situation.


The Belgian moved from Atletico Madrid to secure more playing time ahead of the World Cup and he's done his reputation the world of good.

Carrasco with Belgium

Seven goals and nine assists in 26 games helped keep Dalian in the Super League.

Now, Carrasco is attracting interest from Arsenal and Manchester United, an indication of his successful stint in China.


Easily the biggest failure of the big money moves to China.

Martinez with Guangzhou

Martinez was the first big-name signing made by a Super League club after moving from Atletico, but he made just 16 appearances for Guangzhou, scoring only four times.

He's now on-loan at Portuguese side Portimonense.


There was a lot of surprise when Bakambu swapped Villarreal for China, but his decision has certainly been justified.

Bakambu signs

The Congolese striker scored a stellar 23 goals in 28 games in his debut season, winning the Chinese FA Cup along the way.

If Arnautovic could follow in the path of any player on the list, Bakambu would arguably be the best bet.


The Brazilian was close to a move to Liverpool back in 2016, but he instead swapped Shakhtar Donetsk for the big wages out in China.


Teixeira's peak years have been spent in the Super League and he's been a huge success.

He's directly contributed to 72 goals in 102 games, scoring 45 for himself in all competitions. Not bad for an attacking midfielder.


Very few players have rebuilt their career like Paulinho has in China after his disaster at Tottenham. His first spell with Guangzhou earned him a move to Barcelona in 2017.

Paulinho during his first spell in China

After a fairly decent season with the Blaugrana, he was brought back to the Super League and his second spell has been even better.

He scored 13 goals in 19 games from midfield, with Guangzhou just missing out on the title.

2. HULK (SHANGHAI SIPG) - £46.1m

A FIFA legend with an iconic name. The Brazilian striker excelled in Europe for Porto and Zenit, with Shanghai then deciding to snap him up on a £320,000-a-week deal in 2016.

Hulk with Shanghai

He's managed 52 goals in 87 games and is now Shanghai's captain.

Hulk was also instrumental in the club's 2018 title win, notching 13 goals and 12 assists in just 25 games.


The former Chelsea man was one of the few players to swap Europe for China at the age of just 25 back in 2017.

Oscar with Shanghai

His first season with Shanghai was slightly underwhelming, but in their title-winning campaign in 2018. he was nothing short of outstanding.

Twelve goals and 18 assists in 29 games was the midfielder's return, striking up a devastating partnership with his countryman Hulk.

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