Evergrande sign three, make big splash early in 2013

Repeat league champions Guangzhou Evergrande have been relatively quiet in the transfer market, but they started 2013 with a bang, signing Zeng Cheng, Zhao Peng, and Yi Teng. The moves go a long way to strengthen Evergrande’s problem area, defense.

Zeng and Zhao join the southern giants from relegated Henan Construction and both have considerable experience with the Chinese national team. Yi joins from Shenzhen Ruby, though he has previous experience with France’s FC Metz.

Zeng joined Evergrande on a free and is likely the player who will make the biggest impact out of the three. He has regularly served as China’s first choice keeper since Yang Zhi was injured in late 2011. The club’s other options in net have often been inconsistent and Evergrande have long been on the lookout for a star keeper.

His teammate, Zhao, joins after 10 years in Zhengzhou, where he developed into a solid central defender. He made his national team debut in 2009 and has been a regular since then. Though Zhao was also chased after by crosstown rivals R&F among others, the RMB20 million fee Evergrande paid seems a little high for a player months short of 30.

On the other hand, Yi Teng, a tall 22 year old defender, is a pickup for the future. He spent four years with FC Metz, before returning back to China in 2011 with Shenzhen. He has limited CSL experience, but the upside is definitely there. However one wonders how much time he’ll get on the pitch considering Evergrande’s depth at defense.

6 Responses to “Evergrande sign three, make big splash early in 2013”
  1. tom says:

    Evergrande is very smart! They now have a national team. Mygod! beautiful 2013

  2. cw.wong says:

    Zeng Cheng is a good keeper,2013 Guangzhou Evergrande will better and better,be the best forever!

  3. Damian Jones says:

    I’m a little non-plussed about these signings, especially the two from Henan. There was a reason Henan were relegated to Jia A ….. and these two were part of that reason.
    On the plus side, at least the Chinese National Team get to practice with each other on a regular basis. lol.

    ps: Urawa are coming 🙂

    • bcheng says:

      While Zhao Peng isn’t the most loved national teamer, he’s a decent central defender. I’m kinda wondering why Evergrande want him as that’s a position they are pretty deep at, but why not, it’s one more player the other teams can’t have and it will help with depth.

      Zeng Cheng, on the other hand, is a very obvious pickup. Evergrande have been looking for a keeper for the past few seasons and they couldn’t have done much better with Zeng. I don’t think he’s the best keeper in China, but he’s definitely in the top 5.

  4. davidoffbali says:

    Zeng Cheng is an ideal goalkeeper for Evergrande , young and have a lot experience coz he have been played in Indonesia League when youngster . Love to see him now play in the best club in China League and hope he can play in Europe someday .

  5. Agree with all of the above. What I will say re: @bcheng’s very good point on the amount of centre-backs, is that Lippi has shown that he is keen to use three at the back. That will obviously require more central options and Paulão has left.

    I can see Zhang Linpeng being used as a right-back a lot more in a 4-man defence. He was exceptional there at times and is good enough going forward to play the role. All positive stuff at the Tianhe stadium.

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