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Gao Di could be striker depth answer for Changchun Yatai

Changchun Yatai

Changchun Yatai have a serious lack of depth at the striker position and veteran Gao Di could be the answer to this problem.

Working his way through Shandong Luneng’s youth system, Qufu native Gao Di has been around at the professional level for many years, making his debut back in 2009.

Never able to establish himself as a first-team regular, a 2013 loan spell with Hangzhou Greentown, where he scored five goals in 21 Chinese Super League matches, was enough to secure him a move to Shanghai Shenhua.

Since arriving in 2014, Gao Di has played 91 matches in the largest city of the middle kingdom, scoring 13 goals in the process.

He had a goalless loan spell with Jiangsu Suning in 2017 and, after six years with Shenhua, could very well be on his way out.

His performances in the top tier saw him earn two caps for the Chinese national team back in 2014, but he has been nothing better than a backup at that level.

With the 2020 Chinese Super League kicking of this past week, Gao Di found himself left unregistered and unable to play for Shenhua, leaving open the possibility that he joins another team, likely in China League One.

One second tier team that could truly benefit from adding the veteran striker could be Changchun Yatai, who are searching for another striker with winter signing Aaron Olanare now unlikely to feature for the team in 2020.

Brazilian Serginho and Chinese international Tan Long can both play in the position, but they are preferred elsewhere and the need for a starter is a serious need for manager Samvel Babayan.

Gao Di, is not that. But, outside of their need for a starter, the club desperately need to add another option to provide them with depth in the long-run, with the experienced Chinese forward more than capable of doing that.

Tan Long’s best season in the top tier saw him score eight goals for Changchun Yatai. His first season in the second tier showed his quality as he notched 18 goals to become league MVP.

Gao Di, who contributes a couple of goals a season in the CSL, could very well become a more regular scorer in China League One, holding value for a team that is desperate to secure promotion back into the top tier.

A foreign import player is still likely to be brought to the northeastern club, but adding someone such as Gao Di could help Babayan with his options and give the clu some much-needed depth.

James Reeve is a British sports writer and editor for Wild East Football. James is an avid fan of Changchun Yatai, having been a season-ticket holder in 2015, and has been involved with Wild East Football for a number of years.

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