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Changchun Yatai reportedly linked with striker Michael Sarpong

Changchun Yatai

A number of reports have emerged linking Changchun Yatai with a move for Ghanaian striker Michael Sarpong in January.

New manager Samvel Babayan will be determined to make his mark on his new team’s squad, with Sarpong reportedly set to be his first import signing ahead of the 2020 season.

The 23-year-old striker currently plays for Rayon Sports in the Rwandan Premier League, where he finished the 2018/19 season as the league’s top goalscorer with 16 – lifting the title in the process.

After a strong season in Rwanda, Sarpong looked set to leave the club – with a number of teams in Europe and Africa reportedly interested in capturing his signature.

No move came to fruition and Sarpong has at least four goals to his name so far this season, with reports coming out of Rwanda suggesting he could be joining the Northeastern Chinese club for around $500,000.

The move for Sarpong is an interesting one for Changchun Yatai, who will be desperate to secure promotion back to the Chinese Super League after falling short this year.

Needing a prolific goalscorer to support the likes of Tan Long and Richairo Zivkovic is obviously a priority, but Sarpong’s lack of high-quality football could make him a risky addition to the squad.

The club most linked with his signature over the past year or so has been Greek third-tier side Kalamata FC, who saw a deal for the Ghanaian fall apart due to visa issues.

A higher-quality signing may be more in line with what Changchun Yatai need, but there have been plenty of times where relatively unknown quantities have excelled in China after arriving.

Babayan will need to be 100% sure of what he has in Sarpong, should a deal go through, otherwise his will be a short tenure with the club.

James Reeve is a British sports writer and the correspondent on Changchun Yatai for Wild East Football. James has followed the club since 2012, lived in the North-Eastern city between August 2013 and March 2018 and was a season ticket holder for the 2015 CSL campaign.

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