Chinese forward Wu Lei commits his future to Espanyol

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-03 04:32:15|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MADRID, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Star forward Wu Lei, the first Chinese starting and scoring in Spanish La Liga and one of the big successes in the league's winter transfer market, said Thursday that he is not thinking about anything else other than staying at Espanyol.

Wu, born in 1991, was the top scorer in the Chinese Super League history with 102 goals and named as the Chinese Football Association Footballer of the Year 2018. He was transferred from Chinese Super League champion Shanghai SIPG to La Liga side Espanyol in January 2019 signing a three-year contract with an option for an additional year.

Wu told a press conference on Thursday, "I am very happy with the confidence the coach (Rubi) has shown in me, and both the fans and the players have treated me marvelously."

As his form has already altered the attention of other clubs, Wu said, "I am not thinking about anything other than staying here at Espanyol."

The striker added, "I am pleased with the three months I have had here. I am happy with my form and the way I have adapted. If the coach gives me the chance, I will give all I have and work hard to play even more."

Wu has earned himself a place in the Espanyol starting 11 as the Barcelona based club has enjoyed a good spell which has seen them climb from being in danger of relegation to having an outside chance of qualifying for Europe next season.

Wu made his debut for Espanyol on February 3 in a 2-2 draw against Villarreal, coming on as a substitute in the 77th minute. On February 9, he came on as a substitute and earned a penalty which produced the equalizer in a 2-1 win against Rayo Vallecano. On February 17, he became the first Chinese footballer to start a La Liga match in a 0-0 draw against Valencia. Wu scored his first goal for Espanyol on March 2 in a 3-1 win against Real Valladolid. On April 24, Wu scored his second goal for Espanyol in a 1-1 draw against Celta.

Although it will be hard for Espanyol to qualify for next season's Europa League, Wu said they would "fight to the end." But he was also realistic adding, "it has been the first year for a lot of us in the Primera Liga and looking ahead to next season, I think we can all have a great experience."

Finally, Wu said that he has been working hard to study Spanish and that "I understand my teammates better every day," highlighting the good understanding he has with Espanyol's top scorer, Borja Iglesias - perhaps not surprising given Borja's nickname 'The Panda'.