Respect The Dragon
Grilled head coach Eren Serpin
certainly wasn't spending much of his time boozing up after his unprecedented achievement, and his first transfer as a double-winner would be to raid Sarcastic Fringeheads for their former People's Republic of China youth international winger, Wu Jinglong
. Wu might have just turned 35, but as his freshly-brewed hat-trick against Bot Team FC suggests, he may have quite a bit left to give yet.
The S$5.5 million deal would be closed over a similar offer by Slovenian third division side Nk-Olimpija Bled, who were seeking to reinvest a portion of their profits from their sale of Russian midfielder German Timashin. Grilled, of course, were hardly deficient in that respect, with a S$4 million bonus for winning the S-League to come, and the nearly S$12 million in depreciation from the over S$17.3 million that the Fringeheads had paid for four-plus seasons of Wu's services, made this bit of business all the more attractive.
That Wu managed that gargantuan fee despite being the wrong side of thirty was cause for comment by itself, that after spending thirteen full seasons as the main man at perennial Jiangsu lower-league club, chool 8th of changzhou. His late-career fortunes could hardly have been more different, as he won two S-League titles and two Singapore Cups during his time at Sarcastic Fringeheads, including last season's double.
For Serpin, it was a matter of supreme pragmatism. "Where else could we have gotten a proven S-League winger of his calibre? The pundits have been going on and on about us resorting to playing central mids out wide due to tactical reasons, and I can't say they've been wrong. Well, Wu should provide that added bite on the flanks, without sacrificing much support if any."
It is, after all, not contested that Wu has been one of Fringeheads' most hardworking players, who has not let his own considerable skills deter him from helping other departments out. Able to play both on the right and the left with equal facility, Wu will certainly be a weapon to be feared, in Grilled's title and cup defenses.
Commentators seemed to mostly recognize the wisdom of the move, and as for the new Grilled Number Eighteen himself, he evinced few qualms about jumping ship to his old club's fiercest rivals of late. "That's just football." he explained. "This kind of thing makes it interesting!"