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Evergrande sign three, make big splash early in 2013 - Wild East Football
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Chinese Super League

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.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.



  1. tom

    04/01/2013 at 10:53

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

  2. cw.wong

    04/01/2013 at 18:30

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

  3. Damian Jones

    05/01/2013 at 12:32

    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

      05/01/2013 at 21:58

      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

    08/01/2013 at 09:33

    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. Christopher Atkins

    08/01/2013 at 09:40

    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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