Chinese forward Wu Lei had high hopes when he landed a dream transfer to Spanish club Espanyol, but it might be time for him to return home for the sake of his career.
After making his debut in the Port of Shanghai (formerly Shanghai SIPG) first team in 2008, Wu Lei has become one of the most consistent goalscorers in Chinese football, having enjoyed two sensational seasons in the largest city in the world. Middle Kingdom in 2017 and 2018.
2018 saw Nanjing native Jiangsu complete the years as the top scorer in the Chinese Super League, with his all-time career record for the Shanghai Red Half with 151 goals in 296 league games – better than one goal every two games. .
Wu Lei’s career was at an all time high and he even capped 2018 with five goals in 11 appearances for the Chinese national team, firmly consolidating himself as a superstar in his home country.
As expected, with this kind of success, which saw the port of Shanghai win the 2018 Chinese Super League title, came international interest in Wu Lei’s services – with a dream move to the La Liga club. then Espanyol, agreed during the January 2019 transfer window.
It was hoped that Wu Lei would travel to Europe, soak up the highest standard of quality and push himself to the limits of his abilities – seeing him potentially helping the Chinese national team progress further.
Fast forward two and a half seasons, and all is not well with Wu Lei’s tenure in Spain, with relegation to La Liga 2 in 2020 and lack of playing time despite the drop.
Since moving to Espanyol, Wu Lei has scored 14 goals in 91 total appearances for Parakeets, with only three of those coming since falling into the second Spanish tier.
This season alone, Wu Lei has failed to play a full 90 minutes and has not played half of it in a single game since a 3-0 away win over UD Logroñés in mid-December. .
His last goal for Espanyol came in a 2-0 victory over Burgos CF in the Copa Del Rey second round in January, with his last league goal a month earlier against Sporting Gijón.
His lack of playing time is clearly having an impact on his ability to be successful in Spain, and his career is starting to stagnate after less than a three-year absence from prolific seasons in China – suggesting a homecoming might be the best. decision for the 29- Age.
Returning to the port of Shanghai seems like the most logical decision, if he did return, with a strong supporting cast around Wu Lei potentially able to bring him back to being the frequent goalscorer he once was while probably seeing him return. play 90 minutes later. more regularly again.
While it would be disappointing to see Wu Lei’s time in Spain come to an end prematurely, it might be the best for him in the long run if he is keen to live up to his talents and to remain a leading player among all time gamers. -change the Chinese national face.