Will Graziano Pelle’s Transfer Ruin His International Opportunities?

Following his big-money move to Chinese Club, Shandong Luneng, Graziano Pelle has put his international career in jeopardy.


As of July 11th, Graziano Pelle is a player for Chinese Club Shandong Luneng. The Chinese club reportedly paid 13 million Euros for the Italian striker and will be paying him 13.6 million Euros a year, making him the fifth highest-paid player in the world.

As happy as Pelle and his girlfriend may be now that they have enough money to use hundred dollar bills, or yuan, as toilet tissue, will Graziano remain content with his career decision if it costs him a spot with the Italian national team?

Missing from Italy’s Euro roster this summer were Sebastian Giovinco and Andrea Pirlo. Why? Antonio Conte expressed his disbelief in the competitiveness of the MLS. If a world class player like Pirlo is denied consideration to be on Italy’s roster, who’s to say Ventura, Italy’s new manager, won’t do the same to Pelle?

Since joining Feyenoord on loan in 2012, the Italian number nine has had twenty-plus goal seasons. Keep in mind, those seasons were in the Eredivisie and Premier League. If his goal tally for this upcoming season doubles in China, it will only prove a similar point to that of Conte’s, the league’s competitiveness is incomparable to that of European leagues. On the other hand, if Pelle doesn’t finish with an impressive goal tally, won’t such a performance translate into a lack of ability?

Italy have other options up top. In this summer’s Euro, fans saw the likes of, Simone Zaza, Ciro Immobile, and Eder. With new management coming in, it’s probable fans will see Pelle lose his spot on Italy’s roster.

This transfer was simply too costly for both parties. Pelle’s salary alone will cost the club a fortune while the switch may cost Pelle his international career.

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