Chongqing Lifan have signed Liu Huan on loan from Beijing Guo’an, seeing the veteran defender return to the club after two years away.
The 31-year-old left-back returns to Chongqing after leaving the club after the 2017 season, returning to his birthplace in Beijing.
Liu has struggled to truly make a mark on the Guo’an team, however, making just 18 league appearances for the club, 26 in all competitions.
With Li Lei and Jin Taiyan ahead of him in the pecking order, it was always going to be a difficult task to push for regular playing time – with Liu Huan making just three league appearances in 2019.
While not a mainstay within the team, he is still credited with helping the club win the CFA Cup in 2018, making four appearances in the tournament but failing to leave the bench during the two-leg final.
Prior to joining Chonqing in 2017, for whom he made 30 league appearances, Liu had spent the majority of his playing career in the lower leagues of Chinese football, predominantly with Shenyang Zhongze and Dalian Transcendence.
Liu Huan will now compete with Liu Le for the starting left-back position, with the latter joining Chongqing after the former’s departure ahead of the 2018 Super League season.
Liu Huan arguably had his best season playing for Chongqing in 2017, playing in every league match that season while scoring two goals and assisting on another.
The opportunity for him to play regular minutes in the top tier once again undoubtedly interested him greatly and it will be a positive sign for fans to see him return, hopefully making his mark once again.
With the domestic transfer window being extended for an additional three weeks beyond the February 28th deadline, teams appear to be taking their time with new additions.
Shanghai Shenhua appears to be the only club that has resolved at least the majority of their deals, while others are still taking a long time between moves.
For Chongqing, this could be just one of many planned and it will be interesting to see how the transfer window unfolds over the coming weeks.