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...
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.