Football Firsts - Chinese National Team players sign for two UK Clubs

Published on 21 July 2021 at 14:24

It was announced today that Celtic FC Women had signed Shen Mengyu from Chinese Women's Super League side, Shanghai Shengli. This signing has made history, as Shen Mengyu is the first Chinese women's footballer to play in the UK. But only a few minutes after this announcement, Tottenham Hotspur Women announced the signing of Tang Jiali also from Shanghai Shengli, on loan for the 2021/2022 season. 


Shanghai Shengli are a club which has won the most titles in the top division, with 11 to their name. They currently sit second in the league after three games, with two wins and a draw. The league is currently on hold whilst the Chinese Women's National Team participate in the Olympics.


Tang Jiali

Tang is a 26 year old midfielder with alot of experience to her name. Both on a domestic level and national level.

Before Tang even started her domestic footballing career. She was already showcasing her abilities at youth level and was soon picked to make her senior debut in 2014 for the Steel Roses against World Champion USA. The following year she recieved a nomation in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup for the Best Young Player of the Tournament. With her form and promise showing on a national level, she was picked up Shanghai Shengli


She started her domestic footballing career with Shanghai Shengli in 2016, making her debut for the side later that year, where she had 27 appearances. Shortly after, Tang joined Jiangsu Suning at the start of 2018 and helped contribute to the side with her 11 goals in 25 appearances. Jiangsu won the title that year.


Tang scored was part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics campaign, playing in the qualifying games and scoring integral goals which allowed them to qualify.


Tottenham have announced that Tang will wear the number 9 shirt this season.



Shen Mengyu

Shen Mengyu is a 19 year old midfielder, who has just missed out narrowly on being slected for the 2020 Olympics squad with the Steel Roses. She was initally part of the 26 women squad, however older and more experienced players were selected above Mengyu. This was part of the reason that she agreed to the move to Celtic FC Women, in order to develop her growth and experience.


Despite only being 19, she has certainly already got a good reputatuion and tipped to be a big star. Mengyu is quite versatile. She proved her worth at youth level and received her first senior cap last year. Shen can play in a variety of positions across the midfield, whether it be out on the wings, central or in attacking position. She has been described as someone who is has an eye for goal and constantly looks to improve her game. Hopefully this loan move with be a valuable and beneficial move for both Mengyu and Celtic.

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