Changchun Yatai have today officially announced the signing of striker Aaron Samuel Olanare on a free transfer.
The Nigerian international’s arrival will come as little surprise to those following the club, with rumours of him training with the club surfacing a couple of weeks earlier.
The 25-year-old is no stranger to Chinese football, having had successful spells both in the Super League and in China League One last season with the now-defunct Sichuan Longfor.
In his first spell in China, with Guangzhou R&F, Olanare earned an impressive 15 goals and seven assists in 34 total league appearances spread across the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
He had a few fairly unsuccessful seasons in Russia and Israel after leaving the Southern Chinese club, resulting in a move to Sichuan ahead of the 2019 China League One campaign.
He excelled in the second tier of Chinese football, scoring a stunning 19 goals and adding a further four assists, seeing him lead his team in both categories, with the second-highest goalscorer being Jonathan Balotelli with just six.
For Changchun Yatai, who had a pair of goalscorers with 15+ last season in Tan Long and Richario Zivkovic, landing Olanare should help the team make another strong push towards promotion.
Tan Long remains with the club, but Zivkovic has joined English Premier League club Sheffield United on loan and isn’t likely to return to the club after that spell is up.
This left Changchun with a significant gap up-front, one that has now been filled by the tried and test Olanare.
Changchun Yatai now have what could be a potent offensive core, with Brazilian Serginho also added to the line-up as a second striker/attacking midfielder that will hopefully form a strong partnership with Olanare.
With Tan Long still on the team and Yang Chaosheng still likely to hold down a spot in the team, unless Zhang Wenzhao does make a return, then things are looking fairly rosy in the Northeast.