English Premier League club Sheffield United have confirmed the loan signing for Changchun Yatai striker Richairo Zivkovic.
The 23-year-old Dutchman joins the Blades until the end of the 2019/20 Premier League season, giving himself a chance at impressing and earning a permanent move during the summer transfer window.
Zivkovic was an important player during Changchun Yatai’s hunt for promotion in 2019, scoring 16 goals in 25 league matches, forming a strong partnership with Tan Long.
With Changchun ultimately failing to finish the season in the top two places in the league, it has led to a number of their top players to be linked with moves away, with defender Yu Rui already joining Shanghai SIPG earlier this month.
After the arrival of attacking midfielder/second striker Serginho, it appeared that the team would remain largely intact, though the departure of Zivkovic now forces the club into a tough situation.
With no real recognised striker on the books, with Tan Long arguably more of a winger now, the club will need to act quickly to find a suitable replacement that can have the same impact as the former Netherlands Under-21 international.
With Maurides and Stefan Drazic both disappointing last season, manager Samvel Babayan will need to ensure he lands the right type of player for the Chinese second tier, one capable of building chemistry with both Serginho and Tan Long.
If he isn’t able to do that, then it could be a very long season indeed for the one-time Chinese Super League champions.