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Chinese Super League

Chinese football ‘rubbish’ – let Diego Costa go if he wants, says BBC pundit

Mark Lawrenson says Chelsea star will be ‘bored for 18 hours a day’ if he moves to China

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 10:08am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 10:08am

BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson says Chinese football is “rubbish” and that Chelsea should sell their want-away player Diego Costa to the Super League where he will be “bored for 18 hours a day”.

Lawrenson, a former Liverpool player and now a veteran TV commentator, was expressing his views on Costa’s fallout with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, which has resulted in the Spanish international being left out of the Blues squad.

Costa is reportedly a target for Tianjian Quanjian in the Chinese Super League, whose clubs have already splashed hundreds of millions to lure marquee players such as Oscar, the ex-Chelsea player who joined Shanghai SIPG for 60 million.

And Lawrenson thinks that the club should let the Brazil-born player, who has scored 51 goals in 99 games for Chelsea, go to China if they can get a good price.

“If you get £60m for him let him go,” Lawrenson said on the BBC’s Football Focus.

“Have you seen Chinese football? It’s rubbish. He’s at his peak. The team is built around him, a top, top player. If he wants to go to China and be bored for 18 hours a day, good luck with that one.”

On Monday, the Chinese Football Association introduced a rule restricting the number of non-Chinese players who can be fielded to three, in response to government concerns that the spending on foreign stars is getting out of hand.