Thailand star Chanathip Songkrasin joins J1 League champions Kawasaki Frontale

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Reviewing the AFF Suzuki Cup (4:17)

Gabriel Tan joins Sports Center Asia to review the AFF Suzuki Cup. (4:17)

Thailand ace Chanathip Songkrasin, who recently led the War Elephants to a record-extending 6th AFF Suzuki Cup crown, has secured a move to reigning J1 League champions Kawasaki Frontale from fellow Japanese outfit Consadole Sapporo.

The transfer -- announced by Frontale on Tuesday morning -- marks the end of Chanathip's largely successful four-and-a-half year stint at Consadole, where he was named in the J1 League's Best XI in 2018.

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It was in that year where Consadole, in just their second campaign back in the top flight, achieved their highest-ever league position as they finished fourth in the J1 League, which Chanathip bagging eight goals in 30 appearances.

The last couple of seasons have seen the attacking midfielder hampered by injury, although he was back to his best last month as he captained Thailand to Suzuki Cup glory, picking up a third Most Valuable Player award in the process.

Now 28, Chanathip's move to Kawasaki will also see him return to Asian football's premier club competition for the first time since 2017 with the J1 League champions qualifying automatically for the group stage of this year's AFC Champions League.

Chanathip last featured in the tournament in 2017, where his virtuoso displays led Muangthong United to a maiden knockout round appearance and ultimately earned him a move to Japan.

The transfer will present a new challenge to the Thailand skipper as he moves from mid-table battlers to title favourites, with Kawasaki having won four of the past five J1 League titles and looking to go further on the continental stage in the coming season -- having been eliminated in the ACL Round of 16 last term despite being regarded as genuine contenders.