Soccer News of Saturday, 6 February 2016
Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande has broken the Asian transfer record by signing Atletico Madrid’s Jackson Martinez for £31million.
The deal for the 29-year-old will come as a shock to many, especially considering there was speculation linking him to the Premier League.
Prior to his Atletico switch, Martinez established himself as one of European football’s hottest prospects with 67 goals in just 89 league games for Porto.
Things didn’t work out in Madrid, however, with the Colombian managing just two goals in 15 appearances for the club, who made a profit on the £26.6m fee they paid for him six months earlier.
The deal was a shock, but it’s safe to say he’ll be alongside some familiar faces in China.
Paulinho – Guangzhou Evergrande
If Martinez wasn’t already wonderfully excited about life in China then here’s another little added bonus in the shape of a Brazilian well known in north London.
Former Spurs midfielder Paulinho completed his £9.9m move from White Hart Lane in the summer (stop giggling, Spurs fans) and has scored two goals already, including this beauty on his debut:
Gervinho – Hebei China Fortune
The former Lille and Arsenal forward decided to leave Roma to join Hebei China Fortune in a deal worth £13.7m.
Gervinho, who has been capped 71 times by the Ivory Coast, could end up costing his club a further £760,000 depending on their success.
To be fair, they can’t be doing to badly… the club was only formed five years ago.
Asamoah Gyan – Shanghai SIPG
Remember this fella, Sunderland fans?
The Premier League can make or break a footballer. Very rarely can you escape England’s top-flight having been branded an expensive flop, but Asamoah Gyan has had a good go at it.
Accepting that life as a Mackem wasn’t going to work out, Gyan jetted off to Dubai in 2011 to pick up his paycheck from Al-Ain and score a shed-load of goals in the process.
Jump forward a few years and now Gyan is one of the best-paid footballers on the planet and turns out for Shanhai SIPG.
He’s earning £227,000-a-week a week, though – you can’t argue with that.
Demba Ba – Shanghai Shenhua
The strange case of Demba Ba.
Failed medicals, goal machine at Newcastle, the attacking bridesmaid at Chelsea and the one man responsible for ruining Steven Gerrard’s Hollywood-esque Premier League finale.
After a year in Turkey, 30-year-old Demba Ba signed a three-year deal with Shanghai Shenhua, who have a few more familiar faces on their books, but more on that later.
Having said that, Demba Ba did score a hat-trick in a 3-2 win over Shanghai Shenhua in the Beijing BG Chinese FA Cup:
Ramires – Jiangsu Suning
While we’re on the subject of Chelsea, we’ll move swiftly on to the quite unusual sale of Brazilian Ramires.
Guus Hiddink described the move as a ‘beautiful transfer’, which is fair enough. I mean, Jiangsu Suning did stump up £25m for the the midfielder after all.
The transfer would prove to be the biggest deal of the January window and quite possibly the most surprising.
Ah well, we’ll always have that one night in Barcelona!
Tim Cahill – Shanghai Shenhua
We’re back with Demba Ba’s Shanghai Shenhua and Everton legend Tim Cahill – no he hasn’t retired, Tim will never retire.
The corner flag boxing, fox-in-the-box Australian and all-round great man Cahill is still banging in the goals for Shenhua AND Australia at the tender age of 36.
Fredy Guarin – Shanghai Shenhua
Not a bad time to be a Shanghai Shenhua fan, is it?
Demba Ba and Tim Cahill leading the line with former Porto and Inter Milan midfielder Fredy Guarin bossing the midfield.
Guarin completed a £9.9m move from Inter last month and will pick up a yearly salary of £4.6m million per season, according to reports.
I know I said we’d only mention ‘stars’ in this piece but I felt obliged to include Momo Sissoko, just to bring a little smile to the faces of some Liverpool fans.
After Liverpool, Momo had spells with Juventus, PSG, Fiorentina and Levante before finally setting up for life with Shanghai Shenhua.
Luiz Felipe Scolari – Guangzhou Evergrande
After being at helm of a proud sporting nation during one of their biggest ever humiliations, finding work was always going to be tough for Big Phil.
Losing 7-1 in Brazil’s home World Cup to Germany saw Scolari endure a miserable time at Gremio before signing a two-year deal with Guangzhou Evergrande.
Victory in the 2015 Chinese Super League and AFC Champions League has seen the big man return to winning ways.
Sven-Goran Eriksson – Shanghai SIPG
Sven, it would seem, has finally settled with life as a head coach and is earning a reported £2m a year for doing so.
After managing England’s so-called ‘Golden Generation’, Sven has managed nine different teams in ten years.
The Swede has been in Shaghai for well over two years now though, so that’s good.
Dan Petrescu – Jiangsu Guoxin Sainty
The former Chelsea defender has endured an unusual life in management so far.
After being appointed the manager of Romanian side Targu Mures, he won his first and only game in charge before resigning the next day.
Not hanging around, Petrescu instantly signed a lucrative deal with Jiangsu Guoxin Sainty, who finished ninth in the league.