Checking in on Carrasco, Nico Gaitán and Augusto in China
The three players left Atlético Madrid last February and the three have settled in well in the China Super League with Carrasco exceding expectations.
Yannick Carrasco, Nico Gaitán and Augusto Fernández turned their lives upside down last February when they left Atlético Madrid to move to China. The rojiblancos looked for exits for the players to balance the books along with selling Moyá to Real Sociedad and sending Vietto on loan to Valencia, after they failed to get out of the group stages of the Champions League.
The Chinese Super League stepped up with Carrasco and Gaitán moving to Dalian Yifang, owned by Wanda, while Augusto left for Beijing Renhe. The most surprising was the Carrasco move. At 24 years of age, he was a starter for Belgium at the World Cup and could be a game-changer for Atlético Madrid with his speed and ability to unbalance sides. His minutes dwinled with the arrival of Vitolo and Diego Costa in January but his decision to move to China caught many off guard.
Carrasco coming of age in China
But now, that decisions is justified. He is the star for the Chinese side since Bernd Schuster arrived on the bench and he is an undisputed start having missed a short spell of four games after returning from the World Cup. He has six goals in 22 games and eight assists and is the second top scorer behind Nyasha Mushekwi including a cracking free-kick recently. Gaitán is playing a more central role but is not producing as well as Carrasco with two goals and seven assists.
Augusto Fernández left for China at the same time and now commands the centre of the field for Beijing Renhe, who sit sixth in the league. The Argentine suffered an injury in July that kept him out for a month but he is essential to the manager's plans, Spanish coach Luis García. He has scored two goals in 18 games, with one of them coming in the victory over Guangzhou Evergrande, the second-placed side and Jackson Martinez' former club with the player having since returned to Portugal to place with Portimonense.
- Dalian Yifang