Ex-Bundesliga player Lam Zhi-gin part of major Kitchee revamp
The Hong Kong side have let their two long-term Spanish players go as they try to reclaim the league title from Eastern
Heavyweights Kitchee are planning a major revamp of their foreign contingent for the new season in their quest to snatch the prestigious Premier League title back from rivals and champions Eastern.
Heading out are Spanish striker Jorge Tarres and countryman defender Fernando Recio, who both joined Kitchee in 2010, while South Korean Kim Tae-min and Hong Kong international Christian Annan have also left.
Joining the former Hong Kong champions from overseas will be two more Spaniards, striker Marcos Jimenez and defender Pau Bosh, along with Andreas Lam Zhi-gin, a former player with German Bundesliga side Hamburger SV who has a Hong Kong father and can be registered as a home player.
Watch Andreas Lam score a brilliant goal for Hamburg against Dortmund
Head coach Chu Chi-kwong is confident the squad have the quality to win silverware at home and in regional competitions with the arrival of these new faces.
“They are all quality players and coupled with the fact that three of our existing naturalised players can play at Asian competitions in the new season, we are pretty confident,” said Chu. “The championship will be the major target and we also want to do well when we start the AFC competition in early 2017.”
Jimenez played for Segunda Division side Gimnastic de Tarragona from 2012-16 scoring 41 goals in 135 matches while Bosh turned out for Segunda B side Lleida Esportiu.
Lam, 25, played for the Germany Under-20 squad in friendly games but never made an official international appearance. He has signed a two-year contract with Kitchee and said he hoped his experience would help him gain a place in the Hong Kong national team.
Chu said he was sorry that Tarres and Recio had to leave because both players have given loyal service to Kitchee over the past few years.
However, he said it was necessary in order to inject youth and vitality into the squad.
Tarres, 35, scored 47 goals in his 78 appearances for Kitchee while the reliable Recio won the Footballer of the Year Award in 2014.
Meanwhile, champions Eastern have signed Spanish striker Mikel Arruabarrena from La Liga side SD Eibar.