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Beijing Guoan sign midfielder Gao Tianyi

Beijing Guoan

Beijing Guoan continued their preparations for the 2021 Chinese Super League season with the signing of midfielder Gao Tianyi.

The 22-year-old Dalian native joins Slaven Bilić’s side after spending the past three years with the recently renamed, and reigning Chinese champions, Jiangsu FC, becoming the club’s second signing this off-season after Cao Yongjing arrived last week.

Gao spent time with a flurry of clubs at youth level, including Shandong Taishan, Hangzhou Greentown and even Spanish club Albacete, before returning to his homeland and making his professional debut with Shenzhen in 2016.

During the 2016 China League One campaign, Gao featured in 17 total matches for the club as a 17/18-year-old, earning himself a transfer to Jiangsu at the end of the season.

The next two seasons saw him become a regular feature for the Nanjing-based club, making 49 appearances across the 2017 and 2018 campaigns.

In the following two seasons, however, Gao found himself as a bit-part player, making less than 10 league appearances in each campaign, earning a loan move back to Shenzhen in 2019.

He returned to Jiangsu for the 2020 season, playing six league games and five Chinese FA Cup matches on route to winning the CSL title, but now it’s time for him to seek opportunities elsewhere.

At 22, he will satisfy the U23 ruling in the league and give Beijing Guoan some flexibility in the centre of midfield – his preferred position.

With Bilić now in the country, the club will be focused on competing for the league title in 2021, whenever the new season gets approval, and more signings are likely to be announced in the near future.

James Reeve is a British sports writer and correspondent 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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