Changchun Yatai has finalized his import signings for the 2020 season, with Brazilian Lucas Souza joining the club last week.
The 29-year-old midfielder joins forces with compatriot Serginho and Nigerian striker Aaron Olanare as Samvel Babayan’s import trio are set to feature in the 2020 season.
Changchun had been linked with Souza more than a week before the international transfer window closed and will now likely be used in rotation throughout the season.
China League One rules limit teams to just two imported players during matches, which means teams must balance playing time between the maximum three signings allowed.
Souza provides Changchun with stronger midfield depth, a needed position entering the offseason, playing a box-to-box style while mostly sitting in front of the defensive line.
The former APOEL player, for whom he has scored nine goals in 54 league games, will likely be used in games where a more defensive strategy is needed, either sitting behind Serginho in midfield or rotating for him occasionally.
Souza’s arrival brings Changchun Yatai’s total number of signings to five this winter, with Zhang Yu and Zhang Zijian currently being the only domestic signings to date.
The domestic transfer window remains open for clubs in China, allowing teams to continue to assess players on probation or to strike deals that can have a significant impact on the roster.
Rumors surrounding Chinese players linked to moves to Changchun have subsided recently, with no further update on figures like Nan Song or Zhang Wenzhao.
Babayan now has a bit more time to make final decisions on his squad, hoping to see the season start at some point in April or May.
But with his import signings now on hold, the Uzbek manager can feel pretty comfortable with his company so far, largely keeping a competitive squad from last season while adding strong players in the midfield. .