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CSL Transfers: Guizhou raid Sweden, Yu Dabao and all confirmed deals

The Chinese transfer window officially opens on January 1, but clubs have wasted little time in making preparations for the 2015 season in the transfer market.

With the opportunity to recruit open until 27 February, there is plenty of time for clubs to further strengthen. But, here, Wild East Football rounds up the early movement in what is surely set to be another busy market for Super League sides.


Foreign Players

Guizhou Renhe were the first side to make a splash in the foreign player market this season, signing a pair of forwards from the Swedish Allsvenskan.

Brazilian Ricardo Santos joins from Atvidabergs after enjoying the best season of his career in 2014, scoring 15 goals, while he is joined by versatile forward Magnus Eriksson. Heading out the door in Guiyang, meanwhile, are Zvjezdan Misimovic, Mike Hanke and Jonas Salley, who the latter of whom will likely join the new Shanxi Wuzhou side in Xian.

magnus eriksson guizhou

Magnus Eriksson is unveiled by Guizhou

Salley’s berth as the side’s AFC registered player will be filled by 30-year-old Korean defender Park Ju-Sung, signed from K-League side Gyeongnam FC.

AFC Champions League qualifiers Guangzhou R&F announced their new manager prior to Christmas as Getafe’s Cosmin Contra, best known for his playing career with the likes of AC Milan. At the Yuexiushan, Contra is joined by former Getafe colleague Michel Herrera, who replaces the departed attacking midfielder Davi—likely bound for Shanghai SIPG.

SIPG, complete with new owners, will hope to build on the foundation laid by Xu Genbao with his East Asia side and kick on to challenge at the top of the league this campaign. Aiding them in that quest will be Sven-Goran Eriksson, joined from R&F, as well as recently signed Korean international centre-back Kim Ju-Young of FC Seoul.

Completing the early transfer activity in the Super League this week were Hongkou-based moneybags Shanghai Shenhua. The capture of 25-year-old former Arsenal trialist Stoppila Sunzu from Sochaux may have been greeted with despair by fans in his homeland of Zambia, but could he be the commanding centre-back Shenhua need to truly launch their new era?


Domestic Players

The big news of the domestic market has focused on 2014 runners-up Beijing Guoan who saw star attacking midfielder Zhang Xizhe head to Europe in a much-publicised switch to the Bundesliga. The capital side, though, have acted swiftly to secure a replacement in the shape of former Benfica player Yu Dabao, fresh from a tough season with relegated Dalian Aerbin.

Yu Dabao greets media in Beijing

Yu Dabao greets media in Beijing

Another player heading out at the Gongti, meanwhile, is R&F-bound centre-back Yu Yang, who will be joined in Contra’s side by ageing Hangzhou Greentown talent Wang Song. Philippe Troussier’s new side, meanwhile, strengthened their ranks with midfielder Huang Xiyang of Henan Jianye.

Four-time champions Guangzhou Evergrande predictably wasted little time in entering the domestic player market as they signed Qingdao left-back or central midfielder Zou Zheng and Dalian Aerbin’s international midfielder Zhang Jiaqi on Christmas eve. The pair continue Evergrande’s efforts to rejuvenate their long established Chinese core with departures expected.

Full-back Sun Xiang is reportedly close to announcing a move to Shanghai SIPG, while midfielder Zhao Xuri and full-back Rong Hao are familiar faces also linked with a move away from the Tianhe Stadium.

Shenhua have been the most active on the domestic player front, confirming four new arrivals in the shape of Shenxin attacking midfielder Wang Yun, Evergrande defender Li Jianbin, Henan full-back Zhang Lu and Shandong winger Lü Zheng.

Goalkeeper Geng Xiaofeng has been confirmed on a permanent basis from Shandong following his loan spell last season, not affecting this year’s transfer allocation and leaving one further space for a domestic addition in 2015.

The final big news of the 2015 winter window thus far has been the confirmed departure of veteran defender Sun Jihai from Guizhou. Chongqing and Dalian Aerbin are mooted destinations for the 37-year-old former Manchester City man ahead of what appears to be somewhat of a changing of the guard in the Super League’s furthest South-West club.

From all at Wild East Football, enjoy your New Year celebrations and have a prosperous CSL-filled 2015!



  1. Yiddo Huayi

    21/01/2015 at 19:16

    Re your tweet about NZ media taking cheap shots (“cashed up”) in relation to Nathan Burns being courted by Shenhua… agree totally!

    NZ media is 100% ignorant of football beyond the A-League and the EPL (does a passable job for the domestic competition) and the journo for this piece is noticeably lazy.

    In terms of the topic most of the fans wouldn’t begrudge Burns moving to Shenhua on the reported salary, but equally we don’t want to lose our top scorer half way through the season when we are in 2nd place and in with a real chance to upset the A-League cart this season.

    We hope that he will see out his contract, get the golden boot, help us win the final and then his stocks should be even higher then now (which might mean that Hengda will pinch him!).

  2. Cameron Wilson

    23/01/2015 at 13:36

    It’s not so much cheap shots by the media down your way, it’s just that they don’t seem to have much knowledge about football here other than the clubs have more money than they have, so that’s about all they can say about it.

    I think Shenhua should set their sites higher than Nathan Burns. Good player but I think a cashed up side could afford someone better. hahah.

    • Yiddo Huayi

      23/01/2015 at 14:02

      Yep you should set your sight higher! 😉

      How about the mad Besart Berisha? He’s totally batsh!t crazy but he knocks them in like Elkeson on angry pills/

      NZ journos, NZ in general has no real knowledge of China. Our major trading partner and we are shrouded in ignorance and xenophobia.

      Actually there are some good football journos here but the one who wrote that piece is not one of them – he struggles with the game on his doorstep let alone one 10,000 km away.

      Anyway, what about them Guozu eh?

  3. Cameron Wilson

    26/01/2015 at 11:23

    Yeah. A solid tourney. Anyways maybe if NZ can join the Asian Confederation we might expect better? probably not just look at Oz.

    • Yiddo Huayi

      26/01/2015 at 20:18

      It makes so much sense to join Asia but that would kill the game in Oceania (the Pacific Islands). Also NZ gets a relatively easy qualification route to the WC (if it plays the 5th best Asian team, less so if it goes through CONCACAF).

      Would be great if it happened and would be in the long-term interest to develop the game in NZ (so it won’t happen – CFA doesn’t have the monopoly on numptiness).

      I think if the Wellington Phoenix was able to compete in the ACL then that would generate a bit more awareness of some of the high profile Asian clubs, but that will be a long way off…

      Shanghai SIPG seems to be recruiting well and with SGE and his back room staff in place they should give Shenhua a run for its money don’t you think? Would make for an entertaining derby at HongkRou ( 🙂 )

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