Saturday, December 16, 2006

United solve Chinese puzzle as Dong gets green light..

So then, three years after United gambled a massive £3.5m on an untried and unknown 18 year old Chinese star, Dong Fangzhou, he finally gets a work permit which will enable him to play for United proper.

When the red devils signed Dong he wasn't a full international and therefore getting a work permit was going to be tricky. To get round the red-tape United have an agreement with Belgium club Royal Antwerp, who are United's feeder club. The good news is that Dong Fangzhou has now played a few games for China's national side and so he now qualifies to play for the club and so he heads to Old Trafford next month.

Of Dong Fangzhou Ferguson says 'the boy has a big chance' and so he does, but only the same chance as any other youngster who is lucky enough to be signed to play for United - except of course there's additional problems to overcome for forgein stars with the added burden of having to settle into a new country, the culture and then there's the small matter of the language barrier.

Sceptics might well argue that Dong has been partly signed with a view exploiting any future commercial opportunities in the Far East - that of course may well be part of the thinking. However, if Dong cannot cut the mustard at Old Trafford, then he his name is less likely to shift products at home or indeed in China. Watch this space on Dong's future, I wish the lad well and hope he does the business for the shirts.

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