Former Arsenal target Stoppila Sunzu joins Shanghai Shenhua in €3 million deal

Stoppila Sunzu

The Zambian international looks set to carry on his career in China.

In January of 2013 it seemed Arsenal had picked up one of Africa’s most promising prospects. It emerged that Zambian international Stoppila Sunzu seemed to be on his way to The Emirates. At the time the then TP Mazembe player announced:

"I will be travelling to England to sign a deal with Arsenal after the friendly game against Tanzania. I spoke to both Mr Katumbi (his current club manager) and Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger who assured me that I would not be going to London for trials but to discuss personal terms and possibly sign a contract."

Already a seasoned international with the Chipolopolo he had scored the winning penalty when his nation won the African Cup of Nations in 2012 - so he certainly possessed pedigree beyond his years.

But a deal to Arsenal never came to fruition. Mazembe refused to sell him on the cheap and despite reports to the contrary he was not available on a free transfer, which also spelled the end of a potential move to Reading.

Sunderland then had him on trial, but Martin O’Neill got the sack before he could have another look at him.

Eventually he did get his big move to Europe. He joined French side Sochaux in January 2014, helping the side survive relegation last season and becoming a solid regular in French football.

Now he is on the move again, but not to Arsenal. Not to anywhere in England either. In fact, not even to another team in Europe.

Instead he is off to China.

He has agreed a move to join Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, formerly of Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba fame, in a fee believed to be worth around €3 million this winter.

It is certainly a long way from Arsenal, where he very nearly made a move earlier in his career and certainly a step below his actual ability.

However it is clearly a move the Zambian wants to make.

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