Shanghai SIPG yesterday unveiled two new players for the 2020 season at Pudong’s Yuanshen Stadium — the team’s temporary home ground before its new Pudong Football Stadium is completed.
The two newcomers are 27-year-old defender Yu Rui and midfielder Mirahmetjan Muzepper. Yu spent the last two seasons with Changchun Yatai. Changchun was relegated to the second-tier Chinese League One since last year.
Muzepper, 29, joined SIPG after finishing his contract with another Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda. Muzepper is China’s first national team player from the Uighur ethnic group.
“I want to welcome the new members of our family,” said SIPG head coach Vitor Pereira. “Both of them have good ability and personality.”
The two players are expected to help boost SIPG’s defense. They joined their teammates for an open training session at Yuanshen after a brief meeting with fans yesterday morning.
Yuanshen used to host home matches of former Chinese League One side Shanghai Shenxin. Shenxin fell into the third-tier Chinese League Two after finishing last in League One last year. The club recently withdrew from League Two due to financial crisis.
The CSL champion in 2018, SIPG finished third last year, behind champion Guangzhou Evergrande and Beijing Guoan. General manager Zhang Min has not set any specific targets for the club in the new season, but expressed his wish to see the team achieve higher goals.
“China’s football is experiencing a difficult time. Every club has the responsibility to work hard and make a contribution,” said Zhang. “I also want to thank the city and district governments, and Yuanshen Stadium for getting the venue ready in such a short time.”
SIPG’s former home ground Shanghai Stadium is to be closed for a while due to ongoing construction of the Xujiahui Sports Park. The club will play at Yuanshen before moving to the new Pudong Football Stadium set to be ready in 2021.