The Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo of J1 League announced the provisional contract with Chanathip Songkrasin on a loan deal in December 22 2016. His contract period will be from July 2017 to December 2018 and his salary is unknown. Songkrasin is the first Thailand’s player in the J-League.
Chanathip Songkrasin ‘s biography is that he’s the age of 23, and he was born at Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. In 2010, he joined in the cantera of the BEC Tero Sasana F.C of Thai Premier League. Songkrasin was a Attacking Midfielder and broke into the first team in 2012. He has been active from the rookie year, he got the Youth Player of the Year. His stats was 13 goals in 104 matches in the BEC Tero Sasana F.C until 4 years, and he transferred of permanent deal to the Muangthong United F.C in 2016 season.
Chanathip Songkrasin had an interest in the J-League from before, he participated as a trainee in the Shimizu S-plus in November 2013. Then he was convened to the Thailand national football team, in 2014 he became the youngest AFF Suzuki Cup MVP at the age of 21. Songkrasin also played in the match with Japan national team that was the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on September 2016. In this match Japan beat Thailand 2 to 0. After the match, he told the Thai media that he would like to play in the J-League in the future.
The 2017 season of J-League starts from February, Why does Songkrasin join the Consadole Sapporo from July? Because the Muangthong United F.C will participate in the 2017 AFC Champions League and need him to win the group stage. So the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the first match to see him in Japan. There will be the match of Japan vs. Thailand at the Saitama Stadium on March 28 2017. Then, Songkrasin is small and has a height of 158 cm（≒5 feet 2 inches）, But he is called “Messi Jay” or “Thailand’s Messi” for his physique and play style. He is not married and he is the most popular football player in Thailand.
Unfortunately, I think the Consadole Sapporo has signed up with Songkrasin for two reasons other than his play. The Consadole had contracted with Vietnamese hero Le Cong Vinh in 2013. There was the two reasons at that time, the Consadole’s Sponsor’s Sapporo beer wanted to expand sales in Vietnamese market and Hokkaido wanted to invite tourists from Vietnam. Finally he played only 11 matches, but the result was successful. The Consadole won a new sponsor that promote to Vietnam, and Many Vietnamese came to the Sapporo stadium. So it seems that Songkrasin’s contract was also aimed at the same effect.
In the J-League, the club can contract with one player of Asian Football Federation member country separately from the regular foreigner player. Le Cong Vinh was one of them. Then some players played using that system, Nguyen Cong Phuong of Vietnam played in the Mito HollyHock and Nguyen Tuan Anh also played in the Yokohama FC. However, in spite of both teams were in the 2nd Division, they had few opportunities to participate. The Consadole is the Division 1 of J-League, so Songkrasin’s opportunities may be few.
This youtube’s video is the movie of Chanathip Songkrasin. His uniform number will be 18 in the Consadole Sapporo.