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Wenger says Chinese Super League will need time to build culture

But he is happy to see the game’s popularity grow in China

Swansea City v Arsenal - Premier League
TFW you find out how much the Shanghai paid for Oscar
Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

The rise of the Chinese Super League-and the rather exorbitant sums that clubs in said league are willing to pay to acquire big name stars-has been one of the bigger storylines this Premier League season. And it’s irritated some, including Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.

Arsène Wenger, for his part, doesn’t seem too concerned.

“You do not create a top league just like that,” Wenger said. “When you want to be a football player your first aspiration is to play in the best league with the best players. After that, you want to combine playing in the best league with the best players for the maximum amount of money.”

Well, that certainly doesn’t sound like a manager worried about losing one of his stars to a Chinese club.

He went on to say, “In China it’s new. I know that situation well because, when I went to Japan in 1995, professional football had only been in existence for three years . . . it will take time.”

He went on to say that he is happy the game is growing in China. And if a Chinese club lures Diego Costa away, I’ll be ecstatic.