The entertaining market closed over the weekend following a crazy period in which the country welcomed some of the biggest names ever to its shoresTOP 10
By Ben Somerford | Asian Football Editor
The mid-season Chinese transfer window proved that the Super League (CSL) is a competition on the rise, with an unprecedented amount of money spent on new players. As a result, there has been an incredible influx of quality into China's top flight, which has many fans licking their lips in anticipation of the final half of the 2012 season.
However, the CSL's levels of interest now goes beyond its own borders, with the new arrival of talent making it a competition worth taking notice of. Goal.com has put together a list of the top 10 new signings moving to the league during the mid-season transfer window.
|10. ISAAC CHANSA - Orlando Pirates to Henan Construction
The 28-year-old midfielder was part of the Zambia side which memorably won the African Cup of Nations earlier this year and now joins a growing legion of his compatriots in China's Super League. Chansa will join bottom-placed Henan, where he will link up with compatriot Christopher Katongo, while elsewhere fellow Zambian striker James Chamanga has enjoyed several years of success at Dalian Shide.
|9. RUBEN SUAREZ - Levante to Guizhou Renhe
The Spanish veteran was used mostly as a substitute last season as Levante enjoyed a remarkable campaign which brought a sixth-placed finish. The 33-year-old attacking midfielder contributed eight goals, including a double in a 3-1 victory over Espanyol early in the season. He now links up with ex-Levante pair Rafa Jorda and Nano at the title contenders.
|8. GIOVANNI MORENO - Racing to Shanghai Shenhua
The Colombia international's arrival in Shanghai has paled in significance to those of Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba, but he is still an important signing for Zhu Jun's ambitious outfit, who are battling to avoid the drop. The 26-year-old attacking midfielder arrives in China at a good age, from Argentina's Racing Club - where he was once threatened by fans at gunpoint - on a deal reportedly worth €2.45million per season.
|7. HUANG BOWEN - Jeonbuk Motors to Guangzhou Evergrande
Little may be known about Huang outside the Far East, but the 25-year-old defensive midfielder is a highly sought-after talent whose final decision to move to champions Evergrande caused controversy after originally promising to rejoin former club Beijing Guoan if he ever returned to the CSL. Huang, who Evergrande reportedly paid a €1.63m transfer fee for, won the Chinese FA's Young Player of the Year in 2008 and is looking to help Evergrande become Asian champions this year.
|6. JOFFRE GUERRON - Paranaense to Beijing Guoan
The 27-year-old Ecuador international reportedly had previous interest from Club America, Sao Paulo, Flamengo and San Lorenzo but eventually opted to move to China to join the capital club who spent €4m on his transfer fee. The right winger, who is known as 'Dinamito', is a player with plenty of flair and trickery, and has success under his belt having helped LDU Quito win the 2008 Copa Libertadores, where he was named best player.
|5. FREDERIC KANOUTE - Sevilla to Beijing Guoan
Kanoute, 34, is a former African Footballer of the Year and two-time Uefa Cup winner who brings a wealth of experience to title hopefuls Guoan. The Mali striker has previously flirted with a move to West Asia but finally decided for Beijing on a deal worth €1.63m per term after six seasons at Sevilla, where he enjoyed his best years on the back of spells at Tottenham, West Ham and Lyonnais. Ex-Benfica striker Manu has made way for Kanoute as Guoan aim for more goals after just 20 in their 17 league games so far.
|4. LUCAS BARRIOS - Borussia Dortmund to Guangzhou Evergrande
The Paraguay international smashed the perception of China's Super League being a haven for aging stars, arriving at the hugely ambitious Guangzhou Evergrande at the ripe old age of 27, the peak age for an outfield footballer. Barrios helped Borussia Dortmund win back-to-back titles in the past two seasons, although he had a limited role last term. The striker has joined on a four-year deal reportedly worth €6.7m per season, with Evergrande forking out a €8.5m transfer fee for him, and is charged with the responsibility of helping the team win the Asian Champions League.
|3. YAKUBU AIYEGBENI - Blackburn to Guangzhou R&F
Yakubu is newly-promoted Guangzhou R&F's big mid-season purchase as they try to regain their impressive early-season form, having slipped off the pace in recent weeks. The Nigeria international is only 29 years old and netted 17 goals in the Premier League last season, so he is a player in his prime who should be able to add plenty to a decent line-up. Yakubu has signed a three-year deal worth €6.5m per season and the former Everton man opened his goalscoring account on his R&F debut, scoring a dramatic late winner in the Guangzhou derby to immediately win over the fans.
|2. SEYDOU KEITA - Barcelona to Dalian Aerbin
Dalian Aerbin, like R&F and Evergrande before them, are a newly-promoted side determined to achieve immediate success and they have invested heavily in Malian midfielder Keita who has signed a two-and-half-year deal worth €5.6m per season. The Bamako-born midfielder arrives from Barcelona, where he helped the Catalans collect a vast array of titles. Keita may be 32 years old, but he made 42 appearances for Barca last term and attracted interest from Liverpool, so he clearly still has plenty to offer. Aerbin, though, are battling relegation and will need him to impress.
|1. DIDIER DROGBA - Chelsea to Shanghai Shenhua
Like Keita, Drogba is a Champions League winner. However, the Ivorian's success is more recent and - without argument - he had more of an influence on it, having headed the vital late equaliser in May's final against Bayern Munich before netting the decisive penalty in the shoot-out. It is hard to fathom, considering where the CSL was less than a year ago, that such a player will shortly be running around in China's top flight but if the reports are to be believed, Drogba has signed for €250,000 per week. The 34-year-old is the worldwide headline grabber for Chinese football and alongside former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka, he is likely to have a partner to get the best out of him. Firstly, though, he needs to help Shenhua move away from the drop-zone after a disastrous first half of 2012.