(Reuters) - Manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Oscar’s decision to join Shanghai SIPG is a significant move for the growth of Chinese Super League (CSL) because of the Brazilian’s relative youth.
Having signed the 25-year-old midfielder from Chelsea for a reported figure of 60 million euros (52.08 million pounds), the Portuguese manager hopes he can help SIPG to their first CSL title in the upcoming season.
“The fact that Oscar has signed for Shanghai means a lot for Chinese football,” Villas Boas told DSP magazine in Qatar, where his team are preparing for the new season.
“He’s a player that joins the Chinese Super League at the age of 25. It means he’s at his full potential and had options to go to big clubs.”
CSL clubs have bagged several other big name signings, including 32-year-old Carlos Tevez and 29-year-old John Obi Mikel, both in the final phase of the careers.
Villas-Boas believes Oscar still has his best years in the game ahead of him, which will only increase the pressure on him to succeed in China.
“The Chinese market normally attracts star players from the age of 27 or 28. Chinese football should be grateful that we’ve been able to attract him to Shanghai,” he added.
“It’s a difficult move for him because there’s a lot of pressure when such a young player comes from a big club like Chelsea directly to China.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney