Three reasons why Aaron Mooy was right to join Shanghai
As Aaron Mooy prepares to face-off against Sydney FC in the Asian Champions League tonight, we break down why the 30-year-old made the right choice to move to China.
Long touted as currently being one of the Socceroos' best players, Mooy has enjoyed a steady rise to the top.
Although by leaving the Premier League, he has left many Aussie fans disappointed about the move.
Of course, it is always a shame to see one of our stars leave the world's best league, but there are plenty of positives too.
The chance for silverware
No one can dispute that at recent clubs Huddersfield Town and Brighton and Hove Albion, Mooy was always going to be in a relegation dogfight each season.
Mooy did suffer relegation with Huddersfield in the 2018-19 campaign.
However, in Shanghai, there are multiple opportunities for the playmaker to get his hands on a trophy or two.
Shanghai SIPG is one of the biggest clubs in China, winning the Chinese Super League in 2018 and finishing as runners-up in both 2015 and 2017.
In their four appearances so far in the Champions League, The Red Eagles have failed to make it past the round of 16 on only one occasion,
Reaching the latter stages is pretty much a guarantee, if not an expectation.
Therefore, why waste years of your career toiling only to survive when instead you can continuously challenge and win trophies?
Dancing with the stars
Brighton has a range of talented footballers at their disposal such as our own Mathew Ryan, Belgian winger Leandro Trossard and Frenchman Neal Maupay.
However, Mooy is playing alongside internationally recognised stars such as Brazilians Hulk and Oscar, and Austrian Marko Arnautović.
These three guys have played at some of the biggest clubs worldwide, and the attraction to join them cannot be ignored.
Furthermore, if Mooy does become a success, and forms a strong bond with his big-name stars, I believe his stock would rise at a quicker rate than if he had stayed at the Amex.
From there a return to the Premier League, potentially at a bigger club not fighting relegation could follow.
Or maybe Mooy could try his luck in another prestigious league such as the Bundesliga or Serie A?
Being a top footballer in China opens up a lot more avenues than being another name on the books at Brighton.
Money and minutes
Money is a topic that is always brought up whenever a player based in Europe 'sells-out' to China.
Still, in this case, there may be some other thinking behind it.
Mooy was a crucial player for Brighton and both manager Graham Potter, and the Seagulls fans acknowledged this throughout the 2019-20 league season.
However, with younger midfielders such as Steven Alzate and Yves Bissouma coming through, Mooy's minutes in 2020-21 may have decreased.
Brighton are not the strongest financially in the Premier League, and allowing a 30-year-old to take up a significant portion of their wage bill, if he is not playing, is undesirable.
These are all assumptions and predictions, but someone like Mooy, who has immense talent, should always be weighing up what is best for his career before he becomes irrelevant.
Plus, why not go and grab yourself a considerable wage spike, particularly in the current climate where some football clubs are struggling to stay above water.