Martin Smith Column: Why any move to China could Costa lot for Diego in long term

Chelsea's Diego Costa
Chelsea's Diego Costa
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‘See you later lads, I’m off to China.

Treble the wages, a ‘new challenge’ and all the 1960’s nostalgia smog you can chew on - what’s not to like?

The China Super League is the new North American Soccer League, the new IPL, the new World Series Cricket league (for those of you with longer memories).

It’s the go-to place for young hopefuls, sporting itinerants and certain superstars who have decided money means more than glory.

Oscar’s gone from Chelsea, Diego Costa apparently wants to join him and Carlos Tevez is already there.

‘You can’t blame them’, goes the popular reaction. ’If you were offered three times more money you’d take it wouldn’t you?’ Everyone agrees and nods wistfully into their pints. But is life only about money and greed? What happened to ambition and the desire to win with your mates alongside you?

Let them go and chase the cash in China, we’ll stick to the real thing here.

Obviously if anyone from the Szechuan Star or Tianjin Telegraph is needs an extra pair of hands, please ignore all of the above.

n You won’t see many better hits than that.

Ross Wallace’s screamer against Huddersfield on Saturday got the former Celtic winger back on the Owls scoresheet in spectacular style with a 25-yard rocket to end his eight-month goal drought.

Without wishing to diminish his selfless contribution to the Wednesday cause in that period it’s easily the most extraordinary thing the 31-year-old has done since he snatched Elias Kachunga’s match notes in the Owls visit to the John Smith’s stadium in October. And it brought back distant memories of by-gone goal drought jokes.

It’s 26 years ago this week that a historic event in Iran launched a million one liners - or more accurately, a one one-liner repeated a million times.

Back in January 1981, 52 American hostages held in the US Embassy in Tehran were released after 14 months of captivity. At that time England and former Long Eaton United striker Garry Birtles, decent bloke and top player though he was, was three months into an excruciating 11-month goal drought after he went from Forest to Manchester United for £1.25m.

The joke was that the first thing the hostages asked when they got out was: “Has Gary Birtles scored for Man United yet?”

He hadn’t.

He didn’t actually score until September 1981, almost a year after he left Forest.