CSL's Guangzhou Evergrande spent third most on winter transfers worldwide
Li Xiang

Guangzhou Evergrande, seven-time champion of the Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL), spent 77 million U.S. dollars on players during the winter transfer window, the third most of the world, according to Tencent Sports.

The two biggest purchases were respectively the 48 million dollars for Paulinho from La Liga's Barcelona and the 22 million dollars for Anderson Talisca from Benfica in Portugal's Primeira Liga. Evergrande also paid about 2.9 million U.S. dollars for both Gao Zhunyi from Hebei China Fortune and Wei Shihao from Beijing Guoan. Moreover, the club spent one million for naturalized player Roberto Siucho.

Christian Pulisic of Bundesliga's Borussia Dortmund joins Premier League's Chelsea at the cost of 73.2 million U.S. dollars. /VCG Photo

Christian Pulisic of Bundesliga's Borussia Dortmund joins Premier League's Chelsea at the cost of 73.2 million U.S. dollars. /VCG Photo

Though it's not clear how much Evergrande paid for Wu Shaocong from the J1 League's Shimizu S-Pulse, under the policy of restricting player prices by the Chinese Football Association (CFA), how should not cost more than three million dollars. That made the Chinese club the third biggest buyer during the transfer window, following the Premier League's Chelsea (83.5 million dollars) and Serie A's AC Milan (80.1 million dollars).

Having failed to claim their eighth straight CSL title in the 2018 season, Evergrande's spending clearly has one simple goal: To win the championship in 2019. The release fees for Paulinho and Talisca alone are proof of this.

Last season, it was the joining of the two players on loan in the second half of the season that helped Evergrande maintain a top position alongside Shanghai SIPG till the end. Having both in their franchise should give Evergrande more confidence in challenging SIPG in the new season.

China's No.1 striker Wu Lei joins La Liga's RCD Espanyol. /VCG Photo

China's No.1 striker Wu Lei joins La Liga's RCD Espanyol. /VCG Photo

By contrast SIPG not only failed to make any valuable purchases, but also lost Wu Lei, China's No.1 striker to La Liga's Espanyol. Furthermore, besides the upgraded Evergrande, SIPG also had to worry about other opponents, namely Beijing Guoan and Shandong Luneng.

Though Beijing lost Jonathan Soriano to Al-Hilal in the Saudi Professional League, the club brought in Kim Min-jae from K League 1's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to make a "3+1 foreign-player-combination" (one Asian and three non-Asian). Luneng also introduced Marouane Fellaini from Manchester United, improving the squad of the No.3 team last season.

The CSL 2019 season will kick off on March 2 and come to an end on November 30.