Friday 13 December 2019

10 former Premier League stars now playing in China

Jelavic, Paulino and Sissoko are all playing in China
Jelavic, Paulino and Sissoko are all playing in China

Helen Rowe-Willcocks

West Ham striker Nikica Jelavic became the latest Premier League player to join China's footballing revolution when he joined Beijing Renhe this week.

Here is a look at players who have left England's top flight to head east:

NIKICA JELAVIC - The Croatian joined second division side Beijing Renhe for a fee believed to be of £2m. Jelavic signed for the Hammers last August from Hull, but only made one league start at Upton Park.

DEMBA BA - The former Chelsea striker joined Shanghai Shenhua last summer from Besiktas in Turkey. The 30-year-old signed a three-year deal worth a reported £11.3m and has made 11 appearances, scoring six goals in the Super League.

Newcastle United's Papiss Demba Cisse celebrates scoring his sides first goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 4, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Swansea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

RAMIRES - The Brazilian midfielder completed his move to Jiangsu Suning from Chelsea for a reported fee of £25m in January. Ramires joined Chelsea in August 2010, but struggled to get game time under new boss Guus Hiddink.

GERVINHO - In January the former Arsenal striker joined Hebei China Fortune. The 28-year-old joined from Roma after a two-year spell with the Gunners from 2011 to 2013.

PAULINHO - Tottenham sold the 27-year-old midfielder to Guangzhou Evergrande last June in a four-year, £9.9m deal.

ASAMOAH GYAN - The former Sunderland striker last summer signed a two-year deal with Shanghai SIPG after leaving United Arab Emirates side Al Ain. The Ghanaian signed for Sunderland in 2010 and scored 10 times in 34 league appearances for the Black Cats.

MOHAMED SISSOKO - The former Liverpool midfielder moved to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua last July after playing with Levante in Spain. The 30-year-old midfielder spent three years at Liverpool before joining Juventus.

EIDUR GUDJOHNSEN - The Iceland international joined Shijiazhuang Ever Bright last summer, signing from Championship side Bolton. The 37-year-old forward spent time in the Premier League with Chelsea, Tottenham, Stoke and Fulham.

Eidur Gudjohnsen puts Bolton Wanderers ahead from the penalty spot during their FA Cup fourth-round replay against Liverpool at the Macron Stadium. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

SUN JIHAI - The former Manchester City defender joined Beijing Renhe in December. The 38-year-old started his career in China before returning home in 2009 after spells in England with the Sky Blues, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.

GAEL KAKUTA - The winger joined Hebei China Fortune this month after just half a season with Sevilla. The 24-year-old spent six years at Chelsea but only made six league appearances for the club, instead being loaned out to six different clubs before leaving permanently for Sevilla last summer.

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