With the European transfer window coming to an end this weekend, Guoan worked out a major piece of business sending Andrija Kaluđerović (or AK99, his number with Red Star) to Spanish side Racing Santander.
AK’s signing for Guoan was met with much excitement, he was a former Serbian golden boot winner, scoring 13 goals in his first season at Red Star in 2010-11. Expectations were high, but manager Jaime Pacheco rarely used him, instead choosing to use Reinaldo as the lone striker.
Over the course of this season, AK has only been given 11 appearances for the Men in Green, four of those were in a starting role. He was forced to play second fiddle to Reinaldo during the first half of the year and since the arrival of Freddie Kanoute, AK’s pretty much been relegated to the reserve team. Kaluđerović’s only managed two goals for Guoan, but both were crucial, inspiring the comeback against Guizhou and quite possibly saving Pacheco’s job by scoring against Liaoning.
Whether AK will return to the capital next year has yet to be decided, but he serves as yet another cautionary tale of the difficulties in finding foreign players for the CSL. Despite his success at home and having a teammate who speaks his language (Darko Matic), he was never able to integrate himself into the side or win over the manager. All we can do is wish him good luck in Spain.
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