Martins confirms move to Shanghai Shenhua


Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins has become the latest player to move to the Chinese Super League after swapping the Seattle Sounders for Shanghai Shenhua.

Martins took to Twitter to confirm his transfer to Shenhua on Wednesday, ending his three-year association with the Sounders in MLS.

The 31-year-old, who scored 40 goals and amassed 23 assists in 80 league and play-off appearances in MLS, will link up with former Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin and ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba at Shenhua after Australia international Tim Cahill made way for Martins.

"Thank you Seattle. Thank you for everything. Thank you for the memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you for the endless support, during the good times and bad. Thank you to my team-mates and coaches for always believing in me," Martins wrote.

"Something I feel strongly about is challenging myself. When I came to Seattle, it was for the challenge. The challenge of playing in an unknown environment. I can wholeheartedly say that I seized the opportunity in Seattle and gave everything I had for the club.

"For me it's now time for a new challenge. After significant reflection, I have decided to join Shanghai Greenland Shenhua FC of the CSL. When I left Nigeria for Italy at the age of 15 with the hopes of a pro career, I put everything on the line. I was immersed in an unknown culture. It may be difficult to understand or relate to, but I've grown to appreciate the feeling I get when entering environments where I'm not a proven footballer.

"Seattle will always have a special place in my heart."

Martins follows in the footsteps of Alex Teixeira (Jiangsu Suning), Jackson Martinez (Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao), Ramires (Jiangsu Suning), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Hebei China Fortune) and Gervinho (Hebei China Fortune), who now call China home.