In the past few years, we’ve seen a real move by clubs to secure young talent and focus on the future.
Around Europe, clubs are keeping an eye on the future and looking to secure the next best talent ahead of the rest. Wolves were seemingly doing the same when they signed David Wang in January.
The Chinese forward is not a name many, if any, will be aware of. Yet, big things are expected of the 19-year-old. So much so, the Guardian named him on a list of the best players born in 2000. Others on that list included Jadon Sancho, Vinicius Junior and Moise Kean.
Unlike those three, though, some believe there’s something fishy about the new Wolves recruit. ABC have explored his career, and they’ve discovered plenty of irregularities and even suggest there’s transfer ‘fraud’ going on.
Wang’s ‘strange’ rise to prominence began back in 2015 when his brother began to ‘interact’ with the current director of FC Jumilla, Li Xiang. Xiang bought the club in 2015 and alongside it third division side Estudiantes. That gave Wang the pathway to join Real Murcia’s Under 19 side, for a fee of €40,000.
The youngster was handed a few minutes at the end of the season, but that was enough. He had a photo of his involvement, something the newspaper explains the importance of. They claim that some players will offer money for a photo of them playing or even training because it can make selling players easier back in China.
Into 2017 and Xiang has employed the skills of a company, Nama Sport, who specialise in image rights, to oversee Wang’s progress. This sees him join the Associació Esportiva Josep María Gené, a high-performance private training centre. He does little during his stay with them, but his star continues to rise nonetheless.
Wang’s name appears in the Guardian list and before long, he’s joined Estudiantes, a subsidiary of Jumilla owned by Xiang. Six months later Wolves, who have a collaboration with the club, sign him up.
ABC, though, aren’t convinced by it all. They have a source, from one of Jumilla’s rivals, who wasn’t impressed by what he saw.
“I do not know what criteria and parameters are followed to make these lists of promising young people, but, although you could see some skill, he is light years away from what Vinicius or Jadon Sancho offer,” he says of Wang.
“Honestly, I find it hard to believe that he is among the 60 best players born in 2000. I have been in football for a long time, and I know what I’m talking about.
“He was physically powerful… but technically quite limited. Although I cannot say that it was a player catastrophe, that David Wang appears on that list is an outrage. I guarantee it,” says another source.
Another, who played alongside him in Jumilla, labels the move to Wolves as ‘suspicious.’
All of this seems to point at Wolves being played by agents. If not, the other insinuation is they’re part of a big game being played by football intermediaries.
With the Chinese Super League rising to prominence and big money being offered over there, the sale of Chinese players is a big game.
Any sort of association with a Premier League club, therefore, adds significant value.