Friday’s deadline day was one of frantic activity for many Chinese Super League sides, but failed to live up to the hopes of many players around the country who had hoped to secure first team football for the season ahead.
Wild East Football takes a look at just some of the big name Chinese players who saw mooted deadline day moves fall apart through no fault of their own. Sadly, although many are full internationals, they will now largely spend the season outside of regular first-team football.
Qin Sheng and Li Jianbin (Guangzhou Evergrande to… Guangzhou R&F)
Both midfielder Qin Sheng and defender Li Jianbin had been tipped to make the cross city trip to the Yuexiushan Stadium on deadline day, but have instead both been placed in Evergrande’s reserve squad for the season ahead.
Full internationals, it is a major shame that both players will not be playing in the CSL for at least the next six months having fallen out of favour under coach Marcello Lippi.
While Qin’s loss of form in 2013 and habit for picking up cards has cost him his place at the club, Li was expected to be reintegrated into the side following a successful loan spell at Shanghai Shenhua last season. A Weibo post hitting out at the club’s fans, though, prompted a change of heart from Evergrande officials.
Yan Xiangchuang (Unattached to… )
Perhaps the saddest tale of the window, 27-year-old Yan Xiangchuang was one of many players affected by the disbanding of Dalian Shide this time last year. Unable to be registered by Aerbin, he sat out the 2013 season in the hope of joining them this time around.
However, that move did not come to pass and earlier this month it was suggested that the international winger, formerly of Beijing Guoan, could join Guizhou Renhe. Once more, nothing came of the speculation.
Yan raised his plight on Weibo in the final hours of the window, criticising the false promises of his agent who he said was now not answering his calls. His late appeal, though, failed to attract an offer in time despite drawing the attention of Harbin Yiteng. He will now try to train with a club until the summer window.
Liu Jian (Qingdao Jonoon to… Guangzhou Evergrande)
It is hard not to feel sorry for Liu Jian over the failure to complete his transfer to Guangzhou Evergrande in time to meet Friday’s transfer deadline, with the matter having been in the hands of the CFA for over two months with no resolution.
Evergrande announced his capture in January following the expiration of his contract with Jonoon. Qingdao, though, claimed that the player had signed a new contract and have thus far blocked the move. The CFA only opened a hearing into the case on February 18.
Qingdao, somewhat cheekily, have named Liu in their squad for China League One but say he will be punished with a stint in the reserves. Liu, meanwhile, is adamant that any supposed contract the Shandong side produce is fake. Should the ruling fall in Evergrande’s favour, the China international will still have to wait until the summer to begin his career in Guangzhou.
Yang Shanping (Liaoning to… Dalian Aerbin)
Jin Pengxiang (Dalian Aerbin to… Beijing Guoan)
Speculation had been rife all window that China international centre-back Yang Shanping would be making the move to North-East neighbours Aerbin, only for the clubs to fail to agree a deal on deadline day.
The lack of a deal also influenced activity elsewhere, with the arrival of Yang supposedly set to allow the departure of Jin Pengxiang to Beijing Guoan. The capital side, then, will have to make do without their much hoped for central defensive reinforcements.
Yang will continue at Liaoning and will likely partner Artyom Filiposyan at the heart of the defence, although Guangzhou Evergrande loanee Yi Teng is also an option. With the club’s squad looking less than impressive on paper, he will need to put any disappointment over the failed move behind him quickly.
Zhao Peng, Feng Renliang and Cleo (Guangzhou Evergrande to… )
Evergrande’s spring cleaning this winter has seen the attempted integration of several younger faces into first-team contention, but has cost some of the club’s original first-team squad.
A signing from Henan Jianye last season, centre-back Zhao Peng has seen himself become a marginal figure after a series of hit and miss performances in his first campaign for the club. The arrival of former Wuhan captain Mei Fang further adds to his misery and a suggested Henan return never came close to fruition.
Feng Renliang, also, is in a similar situation just a year after his arrival from Shanghai Shenhua, with new signing Dong Xuesheng and youngsters Yang Chaosheng and Hu Weiwei limiting his chances. Cleo, meanwhile, will likely seek another loan move or a contract termination.
Cui Peng (Shandong Luneng to… )
For now, it appears that experienced midfielder Cui Peng has rescued his Shandong career after apologising for a series of rule breaches since the beginning of pre-season. He had, officially, been demoted to the club’s reserves for his actions.
Cui, though, looks set to spend much of the year on the sidelines with Jin Jingdao and Wang Yongpo currently occupying the two deep-lying midfield positions in Cuca’s team, while Junior Urso lies in wait on the bench. He may have completed his winter weight-loss programme, but faces long stretches of inactivity this campaign.
It will also be interesting to see the reaction of others at the club to what is an enormous squad that sees Evergrande’s pale in comparison. Based on pre-season fixtures and the club’s opening Champions League tie, Ryan McGowan, Dai Lin, Yang Xu, Zhang Wenzhao, Hao Junmin, Han Peng, Wang Gang, Liu Jindong and Zhao Mingjian will all be regularly joining Cui on the sidelines. That is in all in addition to several talented young players.
Zhu Ting (Wuhan Zall to… Changchun Yatai)
A striker turned right-back, Zhu Ting was another who had been at Dalian Shide prior to their demise but was quickly snapped up by Wuhan Zall. Wuhan, though, could not avoid relegation to China League One for the 2014 season.
Despite being banned for a laughably lenient six matches for trying to beat the living daylights out of a referee following a controversial fixture with Shanghai Shenhua last season, Zhu was thought to be set for an immediate return to CSL action with another club.
No news, though, was forthcoming until Saturday when many reports suggested he had agreed a deal with Changchun at the very last minute. Wuhan and the player himself, though, have quickly come out to describe the reports as nonsense. Zhu’s absence, though, further reduces the worryingly low number of Chinese forwards in CSL action this season.