Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that India has the potential to become the next football transfer country after China.
There have been a flurry of transfers to Asia from elite football clubs. The Indian Super League (ISL) has emerged one of the increasingly preferred places by some of the biggest football stars.
ISL has been growing in popularity of recent and the league seems like one that could rival China in luring the best footballers despite the Chinese Super League regularly grabbing the headlines in the transfer market at the moment.
“It takes years of culture and work. You don’t create a top league just like that. In England, it was created 150 years ago and we still struggle. But China has moved forward. It tries to promote football and I’m happy that football has become popular in China. I also expect India to come to the game too you know,” Wenger said.
The 67-year old seems comfortable with Chinese clubs poaching the world’s best stars with huge salaries. Recently, Carlos Tevez and former Chelsea star Oscar shocked many when they moved to China for record salaries. There are strong indications that Chelsea hitman Diego Costa and Ligue 1 star stariker Edison Cavani might join other big football stars this summer, drawing huge salaries that European sides can match.
India already have Diego Forlan, Diego Malouda, John Arne Riise and Florent Malouda as players. Zico, Marco Materazzi, Gianluca Zambrotta and Steve Coppell have managed clubs in India as well.
Wenger advised the leagues not to expect immediate success as their counterparts in Europe, saying that it would take time. Wenger himself managed a team in Japan in 1995 before his move to Arsenal.