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Guoan Making Run at Mao Jianqing

(2009-06-25 13:05:13)
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北京国安

体育

英文

中超

足球

上海申花

罗宁

毛剑卿

With a full slate of games this weekend, it may seem strange my attention isn't yet focused on this week's opponent, Guangzhou Baiyunshan, no, instead the big news of the day is that Guoan is actively trying to buy Mao Jianqing from Shanghai Shenhua.

Guoan appears to be making a RMB3 million offer to buy Mao, its a pretty solid offer, but it is yet to be seen if Shanghai want to sell one of their "stars" to a competitor, especially a hated one like Guoan.

Mao first jumped on the scene at the 2007 Asian Cup, where he was one of China's few bright lights on a team that didn't get out of the group stages.  Yet much like Yan Song in 2004, following the Cup, he sort of disappeared into obscurity, at least for the national team.  He's not a goal scorer (only 7 goals in 5 seasons, including 2 this year), but he is capable of being a playmaker and using his speed, especially on the wing. 

The downside is that he seems to like alcohol a litle too much.  Last season, he got into some legal trouble after a late night bar scrap in Shanghai.  Granted, the team had just suffered a disappointing draw that killed their title shot, so his bad behavior may have otherwise been excused, however this season he's shown up to practice on multiple occassions smelling of alcohol, leading most recently to a suspension from the team a few weeks back.

While I love the comments from team CEO Luo Ning about how Mao just needs a little stricter hand and challenging Mao to a drinking contest and seeing his "abilities" upon arrival in Beijing.

Since hearing about the move, I've thought long and hard and just don't see how this makes sense for Beijing.  The one place where you'd think Guoan definitely doesn't need another body is in the midfield.  Speculation over this move has led Wang Ke to reconsider how long he'll be staying in Beijing, but even without him, Mao Jianqing is 21, but Guoan also has Yang Hao, Huang Bowen, and Yan Xiangchuang, all of them 25 or younger.  The only way this move makes sense is that it makes Shanghai considerably weaker, but I don't think Guoan would make a purchase solely to make a rival weak. 

Further, a player like Mao carries a lot of risk, maybe this change in scenery will be helpful for him, but if its not, you don't want him to be a locker room disruption.  If Guoan wants to buy a player to secure the title, they should look at bringing in another defender, Xu Yunlong (who is up there in years) and Zhang Xinxin are the core of our defense and Paul was great in the last match, but the likes of Zhou Ting, Zhang Yonghai, and Lang Zheng don't exactly put my mind at ease.

This has all the makings of a massive gamble, now the ball's in Shanghai's court, let's see what they do.

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