5 players who saved their careers by moving to the Chinese Super League

Sourya C

#3 Odion Ighalo

Odion Ighalo
Odion Ighalo

Odion Ighalo was a revelation when he joined Manchester United on loan from Chinese club Shanghai Greenland Shenhua and scored in his first three appearances. So impressive he has been for the Red Devils as a support striker that his loan spell has been extended by the English club.

The Nigerian striker's last spell in England, however, ended disastrously after a great first season at Watford. However, he resurrected his career in the Chinese Super League before moving to Shanghai where his good form continued.

#2 Papiss Demba Cisse

Papiss Demba Cisse
Papiss Demba Cisse

Papiss Demba Cisse made a dream start for Newcastle United when he almost went a goal a game in his first 14 games, including scoring one of the best ever goals in the Premier League against Chelsea. However, the Senegalese became more inconsistent as time went on. He did spend four more seasons at the club, but his goals dried up.

After Newcastle got relegated in 2016, Cisse moved to China to join Shandong Luneng where he partnered another striker from Europe, Graziano Pelle. Cisse again found his touch in China, scoring plenty of goals and winning a return to Europe with Turkish club Alanyaspor.

#1 Paulinho


Paulinho was a big-name flop at Tottenham Hotspur after the English club had signed the midfielder with a lot of expectations following his success with the Brazil team and previous club Corinthians.

His failure in England led to him moving to Guangzhou Evergrande where the player found a new lease of life and form. His creative impetus returned in China, and he made a remarkable turnaround to his career by sealing a move to Barcelona.

Paulinho was a key player for Barcelona, scoring nine times and helping the club win a domestic double before Guangzhou reclaimed their asset. The 32-year-old has also regained his place in the Brazil team and looks very settled in China.

Edited by Bhargav
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