Is US$52m write-off Jackson Martinez the biggest flop in Chinese Super League history?
Colombian striker released by champions Guangzhou Evergrande after costing US$12.3m per goal but other failures give him a run for his money as worst signing
The 31-year-old arrived in Guangdong from Atletico Madrid but his career has stalled as he has made just 16 appearances, the last in October 2016.
Martinez is now looking for a new club as he tries to ignite his bid to play in the World Cup in Russia, while Evergrande are happy to write off his US$52 million transfer fee.
The big German target man became a target for ridicule in his brief spell at Shanghai Shenhua where he failed to hit the target in seven games. The lack of return from the former Bayern Munich hitman saw the 32-year-old denied a contract renewal. Shenhua finished runners-up in the CSL that season, 17 points behind Shandong Luneng. Jancker described it as a one of the “darkest moments” of his career ruing that he should have done “much better” in the CSL.
Iceland’s most famous footballer moved to CSL debutants Shijiazhuang Everbright from Bolton Wanderers in 2015 and the 36-year-old former Barcelona and Chelsea forward scored once for the Chinese side, a penalty against Shanghai Shenghua, as the side finished seventh.
Anelka moved from Chelsea to Shanghai Shenhua where he quickly became a part of Jean Tigana’s coaching staff before being named player-manager in a series of bizarre incidents that included not being paid by chairman Zhu Jun. Anelka also fell out with a fan in a hotel lobby after declining to bow to the crowd after a loss to the bottom side with struggling Shenhua trying to stave off relegation.
The Frenchman cut his losses and left for Juventus where he won the Serie A title.
The Ghana captain was the star of the Black Stars as they won the world over by making it to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but he shone a little less brightly during his time at Shanghai SIPG. Gyan made 20 appearances over two years and while his goal return was creditable it was not befitting a man reported to be among the world’s best paid players. The 30-year-old left for UAE side Al Ain having “failed to live up to expectations”.
He currently plays for Turkish side Kayserispor.
A former African Footballer of the Year, Kanoute scored 12 goals over two seasons for Beijing Guoan after arriving from Sevilla. He never quite hit the heights of his earlier career before calling time on his playing days in 2013. Kanoute’s legacy in China saw him recommend current striker Jonathan Soriano to his former club.
The mercurial Brazilian enjoyed a six-month stay at Guanghzhou Evergrande where he won the 2015 CSL title under countryman Felipe Scolari. The 31-year-old scored three goals in his time before leaving for Atletico Mineiro in his native Brazil.
For a player who had played for Real Madrid and AC Milan as well as making more than 100 appearances for Brazil he did not set the world alight in China. He’s currently in Brazil.