Werder Bremen striker Zhang Yuning: I’m not the new hope of Chinese football

China striker Zhang Yuning has kept his cold head about the hype in his homeland after he joined Bundesliga side Werder Bremen last month on a two-year loan deal.

Zhang joined Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion this summer from Vitesse, and he has been immediately loaned to Bremen for the 2017/18 season.

The 20-year-old is the only member of China national football squad to play professionally in Europe, and the first Chinese striker to join a Bundesliga side since Yang Chen with Eintracht Frankfurt and St Pauli from 1998 to 2003.

“I have to admit that that was quite big news,” he told the club’s official website of the reaction in China to his move.

“There aren’t many Chinese players playing in Europe, especially not in the five big leagues.

“I’ve quickly been put under great pressure by the media, friends, but also by people who I don’t know at all.

“Everyone suddenly thinks I’m the new hope of Chinese football, even though I don’t think that myself.”

Zhang will start his Bundesliga campaign with Bremen when they take on Hoffenheim on 19 August.