Philippines striker Patino leaves Buriram for China

Philippines international Javier Patino will be plying his trade in the Chinese Super League this season after joining Henan Jianye from Buriram United.

The Spanish-born striker was just one of three foreign signings confirmed by Henan on Wednesday, along with Danish defender Eddi Gomes and Poland forward Mateusz Zachara from Esbjerg and Gornik Zabrze respectively.

After playing Alcobendas, SS Reyes, Cordoba and Xerez, Patino left his homeland in 2013 when he signed for Buriram and was an instant hit in Thailand, netting 16 goals in all competition as his side went on to claim the domestic treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.

Last season, the 26-year-old was again in scintillating form and finished as his side’s top scorer with 21 goals in the league, as they retained the league crown after seeing off the challenge of second-placed Chonburi on the final day of the season.

However, his future at the New I-Mobile Stadium looked uncertain after the Thunder Castle brought in several attacking reinforcements in the off-season, including Brazilian forwards Rafael Coelho and Diogo, as well as New Zealand international Kayne Vincent.

And it has now been confirmed that Patino will no longer be gracing the Thai Premier League after his move to Chinese Super League outfit Henan was finalised.

Despite being born in Spain, Patino represents Philippines after qualifying the represent them through his mother.

He garnered plenty of attention when he received his Filipino citizenship and made an instant impact as he scored twice on debut in an 8-0 win over Cambodia in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.

Nonetheless, club commitments and the fact that several Southeast Asian tournaments are often played on non-FIFA international dates have restricted Patino’s involvement with the Azkals thus far.

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