Changchun Yatai officially announced the signing of forward Aaron Samuel Olanare on a free transfer today.
The Nigerian international’s arrival will hardly come as a surprise to those who follow the club, with rumors he was training with the club a few weeks earlier.
The 25-year-old is no stranger to Chinese football, having had success in both Super League and China League One last season with the now-defunct Sichuan Longfor.
During his first stint in China, with Guangzhou R&F, Olanare recorded 15 goals and seven assists in 34 league matches in total spread over the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
He had a few fairly unsuccessful seasons in Russia and Israel after leaving the South China club, which resulted in a move to Sichuan ahead of the 2019 China League One campaign.
He excelled in the second tier of Chinese football, scoring 19 goals and adding four more assists, seeing him lead his team in both categories, with the second-highest scorer being Jonathan Balotelli with just six.
For Changchun Yatai, who had a pair of scorers with 15+ last season at Tan Long and Richario Zivkovic, Olanare’s landing should help the team make another strong push towards promotion.
Tan Long remains with the club but Zivkovic has joined English Premier League club Sheffield United on loan and is unlikely to return to the club once the period is over.
This left Changchun with a big gap up front, which has now been filled by the proven Olanare.
Changchun Yatai now has what could be a strong attacking core, with Brazilian Serginho also added to the roster as a second striker / attacking midfielder who will hopefully form a solid partnership with Olanare.
With Tan Long still in the squad and Yang Chaosheng still likely to hold onto a place in the squad, unless Zhang Wenzhao makes a comeback, things look pretty rosy in the Northeast.