In just a few short seasons, the foreign representatives in the Chinese Super League have morphed from ageing stars on their last legs to some of the sport's biggest names. With the transfer window now closed, here is your complete guide to the 2017 CSL foreign class...
Jackson Martinez – US$50 million (S$70.2m)
The Colombian struggled in his first season and, despite his enormous price tag, has been left out of their Asian Champions League squad. He needs to try to use that to his advantage this time around.
Ricardo Goulart – $20 million
The Brazilian has been consistently excellent in his two seasons at Guangzhou, making the team tick in attack with plenty of goals and assists.
Paulinho – $18 million
Perhaps the best player of the Chinese Super League season in 2016 as barely put a foot wrong. The former Spurs star is now back in the Brazilian national team.
Alan Carvalho – $14 million
Struggled with injury in 2015 but the Brazilian had a great 2016 season, scoring a goal every other game from behind the strikers.
Kim Hyung-il – free
The tough-tackling South Korean centre-back is on a six-month contract to cover for injured compatriot Kim Young-gwon
Alex Teixeira – $60 million
The Brazilian playmaker was one of the best foreign performers in 2016 and played a huge part in Jiangsu’s second-place finish.
Roger Martinez – $12 million
The Colombian striker has a bright future and Jiangsu are expecting a lot of goals this season, especially as he develops his relationship with Teixeira.
Ramires – $33 million
Moved from Chelsea at the start of the 2016 season and was solid as Jiangsu took second place.
Heong Jeong-ho – $3 million
The elegant South Korean centre-back arrived midway through the season and is ready for a first full campaign.
Hulk – $60 million
The Brazilian was injured for much of the second half of last season, but did enough to suggest he will score plenty of goals in 2017.
Oscar – $60 million
Arrived in January amid much fanfare and the Brazilian is expected to pull the attacking strings for Shanghai. The early signs have been encouraging.
Odil Ahmedov – undisclosed
The driving Uzbek midfielder is one of Asia’s top talents and could be a very shrewd signing, even if it did not garner the headlines that others attracted.
Elkeson – $21 million
The Brazilian striker has had three seasons in China and scored goals right from the beginning. He should enjoy playing with Oscar.
Ricardo Carvalho – undisclosed
The Portuguese centre-back has been drafted in by Andre Villas Boas to add some experience to the backline.
Carlos Tevez – undisclosed
Reportedly the highest-paid player in the world, he will face high expectations as Shanghai seek to challenge for the title.
Giovanni Moreno – $2 million
The Colombian playmaker is a hero for Shenhua fans as he starts a sixth season. The club captain is consistent and classy.
Obafemi Martins – $2 million
The well-travelled Nigerian enjoyed a good first season in 2016 and will get plenty of game time this year.
Kim Kee-hee – $6 million
The South Korean centre-back took time to settle in 2016 before growing in authority.
Fredy Guarin – $14 million
The Colombian was OK rather than spectacular after arriving from Inter Milan and didn’t make the Asian Champions League squad. More will be expected of him this time.
HEBEI CHINA FORTUNE FC
Hernanes – $10 million
The Brazilian striker swapped Juventus for Hebei in February and needs to score the goals to take the team into the Asian Champions League.
Ezequiel Lavezzi – undisclosed
One of the highest-paid players in the world started to show what he could do before serious injury ended his season in the summer. The Argentine will be like a new signing.
Aloisio – $3 million
The Brazilian striker has scored goals wherever he has gone and did so for previous CSL club Shandong Luneng.
Stephane Mbia – undisclosed
The Cameroonian midfielder had a good first season and chipped in with some vital goals.
Kim Ju-young – undisclosed
Another South Korean centre-back who enjoyed a spell with Shanghai SIPG, he offers plenty of experience at the back.
Renato Augusto – $10 million
Took time to settle last season, but the Brazilian international midfielder was soon showing his class in the capital.
Ralf – $4 million
The defensive midfielder was tempted to leave South America in 2016 and was solid in his first season at the Workers' Stadium.
Burak Yilmaz – $10 million
An injury in the first half of the season had fans doubting the Turkish striker’s abilities, but he came roaring back to find the net on a regular basis later.
Jonathan Soriano – undisclosed
Not Wayne Rooney as was rumoured, but the Spanish striker has scored almost a goal a game in Austria with Red Bull Salzburg in the last five seasons and came recommended by former Guoan striker Frederic Kanoute.
Egor Krimets – on loan
The towering Uzbek defender enjoyed his return to Beijing in 2016, though rule changes may limit his time on the pitch in 2017.
Alexandre Pato – $20 million
The Brazilian's career has taken a bit of a nosedive since his time with AC Milan, but the striker is still a big name. At 27, if he can shine in China, there is time to build whether it’s here or elsewhere.
Axel Witsel – $22 million
He turned down Juventus to head east and the Belgian international midfielder has a big part to play for the new boys.
Geuvanio – $14 million
Another Brazilian, the 24-year-old scored well in the second tier last season and is expected to do so again this year.
Kwon Kyung-won – $12 million
The all-action midfielder is not that well known back in South Korea but impressed with UAE giants Al Ain and should settle well in China.
Junior Moraes – Loan
Tianjin were linked with the likes of Diego Costa and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but instead settled for Brazilian striker Moraes, who has arrived from Dynamo Kiev on loan until June.
Gil – undisclosed
The Brazilian defender missed a few games to head to the Copa America during his first season and will be hoping for a more settled backline this year – along with a goal or two.
Papiss Cisse – $4 million
The Senegalese striker arrived in July from Newcastle and did enough in less than half a season to suggest he will find the net regularly.
Graziano Pelle – $15 million
Arrived in China after leading the Italian line at Euro 2016 and settled well, scoring a couple of spectacular strikes. Expectations are high for a first full-season.
Apostolos Giannou – $3 million
The Australian attacker did OK in his first season in China and may have to battle for playing time in 2017.
Renatinho – undisclosed
The versatile Brazilian forward signed a new contract under manager Dragan Stojkovic just before the start of the new campaign after a solid showing in terms of goals and assists in 2016.
Eran Zahavi – $8 million
The Israeli international midfielder arrived in June and quickly showed his worth terms of goals and assists. Not the biggest name but one of the best imports.
Jang Hyun-soo – $3 million
The South Korean provides leadership and experience in the centre of defence or in midfield.
Borek Dockal – $3 million
The 28-year-old Czech Republic midfielder is a late addition to the squad from Sparta Prague and should add some experience and dynamism to the middle.
Javier Patino – undisclosed
The Spanish-born Philippines international has already had two successful seasons at Henan and there is no reason to suggest the attacker will be any different in 2017.
Christian Bassogog – $7 million
The winger impressed at the Africa Cup of Nations for Cameroon and was soon on his way to China to become Henan's most expensive player.
Eddi Gomes – undisclosed
The towering Bissau-Guinean born Danish centre-back has become a fan favourite at Henan for his committed performances.
Ahmad Al Salih – free
There are past examples of Syrians having success in China and it should be an interesting season for the defender.
John Mikel Obi – free
Arrives in China after a decade in Chelsea's midfield. His experience should prove vital this season.
Nemanja Gudelj – $7 million
Expected to line-up with Mikel Obi in Tianjin's midfield, the Serbian international adds to a cosmopolitan squad.
Hwang Seok-ho – $2 million
The versatile South Korean defender arrives in China after five successful seasons in Japan.
Malick Evouna – undisclosed
The Gabon goalscorer arrived in China in the middle of last season and took time to settle. He should be ready for a greater contribution this time around.
Mbaye Diagne – undisclosed
Once signed by Juventus, the tall Senegalese striker scored some vital goals for Tianjin last season.
Yoon Bitgaram – $2 million
The classy South Korean midfielder was one of the most impressive of all the imports last season and worked his way back into the national team.
Bubacarr Trawally – undisclosed
With goals and flair, the Gambian has become a favourite up in the north-east and won his team some vital points.
Nikola Petkovic – free
The Serbian defender struggled at times with some of the attacking talent in China but hung in there to help his promoted team have a good season, finishing ninth in the 16-team league.
Kim Seung-dae – $1.5 million
Another South Korean plying his trade up near the border with North Korea, Kim is a classy forward who can score and bring others into the game.
Richard Guzmics – $500,000
The Hungarian defender adds to the multitude of nationalities on display in China, as well as some height in Yanbian's backline.
Odion Ighalo – $25 million
Signed from English Premier League team Watford in January, the Nigerian striker will be leading Changchun's line.
Szabolcs Huszti – undisclosed
Returns for a second spell with the club. The experienced Hungarian midfielder impressed the first time around with his leadership and goals from the middle of the park.
Bruno Meneghel – undisclosed
The well-travelled Brazilian has scored goals in China and Japan in the past and will expect to keep doing so.
Marinho – $1 million
Can play in the middle, on the wing or even up front, adding versatility to his first team outside his native Brazil.
Anzur Ismailov – $500,000
The Uzbek centre-back has been a powerful presence in the middle of Changchun's defence for five years.
James Holland – undisclosed
The Australian defensive midfielder almost saw his move to China fall through, but he has been drafted in to provide some intelligence and energy for the team.
Assani Lukimya – $2.5 million
Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo but holding a German passport, the centre-back brings power and plenty of Bundesliga experience to the backline.
Anthony Ujah – $15 million
The Nigerian has scored goals in Germany and arrived in China midway through the 2016 season for a big fee. Has yet to show what he can do.
James Chamanga – $200,000
The Zambian striker has been with the club since 2013 and has scored consistently ever since.
Robbie Kruse – $750,000
The former Bayer Leverkusen man will be expected to create a few goals for others while getting on the scoresheet himself.
Fernandinho – $500,000
The tricky left-winger impressed on loan at the club in 2015 and the Brazilian made the move permanent the following year.
Alan Kardec – $2.5 million
The one-time Brazilian under-20 international scored more than a goal every other game after arriving last season.
Goran Milovic – $1 million
The Croatian centre-back is looking forward to a second season in the Chinese Super League.
Jung Woo-young – $1 million
A hard-working defensive midfielder, the South Korean midfielder had a solid first campaign for Chongqing.
Nikica Jelavic – $1 million
The former Everton and West Ham striker impressed in the second tier last season with Beijing Renhe, causing Guizhou to move for the experienced Croatian.
Ali Ghazal – $3 million
An interesting signing, the Egyptian defensive midfielder arrives from Portugal's top tier and can also play in defence.
Michael Olunga – $500,000
The Kenyan international striker was linked with Galatasaray before leaving Sweden for China. He has scored goals wherever he has gone.
Tjaronn Chery – undisclosed
The talented Dutch attacking midfielder was tempted east from England’s QPR to add creativity to Guizhou's 11.
Ryan McGowan – free
The Australian defender joined his third Chinese club in January and such experience will be crucial as he tries to help the new boys stay up.
* Fees stated are unofficial, figures are in US dollars