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Chinese teenager Wang Chengkuai signs with Ajax

Chinese attacking midfielder Wang Chengkuai has signed a two-year contract with Eredivisie giants Ajax it was announced on Wednesday, having been without a club since the collapse of Dalian Shide at the start of the campaign.

Wang, 18, becomes the first Chinese player to join the former European champions, but will start in the club’s reserve side, Jong Ajax, in the second tier of Dutch football— the Eerste Divisie.

The opportunity comes after the youngster passed a trial with the club in January 2013, which he attended along with current China Under-19 star Wei Shihao of Shandong Luneng. However, it is only now that the former’s move has been officially announced, having been completed “a few weeks ago” per a club spokesman.

The two Chinese youngsters were recommended to Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars by former coach Henk Ten Cate, who spent a year in China with Shandong in 2012. Once in Holland, it is reported that Wang impressed former Arsenal idol and current Ajax coach Dennis Bergkamp with his abilities as a second striker.

A native of Zhejiang province, Wang played for China’s Under-14 side in the first edition of the Asian Games in 2009, while also representing Liaoning province at the National Games of the same year. He now becomes the latest in a series of promising Chinese youth talents to head to European academies in recent months, with the majority now honing their skills in Spain and Portugal.

Based in Guangzhou, Christopher covers Chinese football for a range of media outlets worldwide and is Wild East Football's lead editor for news content.   His work can regularly be seen on ESPN FC, Bleacher Report and Hupu amongst other media outlets, while he has interviewed a number of leading figures in Chinese football.

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