China coach Alain Perrin on Wednesday announced the 23-man squad that will accompany him to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup to be held in Australia. The Frenchman has opted for a mix of experience and young potential in his rebuild of the national team, who are undefeated since June.
Shandong Luneng’s young star midfielder Liu Binbin could potentially follow up on his international debut against Kyrgyzstan earlier in the month, while Shanghai SIPG’s young goalkeeper Yan Junling joins the side to understudy veteran Zheng Cheng and CFA Cup hero Wang Dalei.
Just one player from Chinese Super League runners-up Beijing Guoan, Zhang Chengdong, made the cut for the squad, with the former Beira-Mar winger’s experience too good to pass up. CFA Cup runners-up Jiangsu Sainty are represented by six players.
Several players, including experienced Guangzhou Evergrande players Feng Xiaoting and Zhao Xuri, were dropped from the squad following China’s scoreless draw against Asian Cup newcomers Palestine on Sunday. The Asian Cup could be a national team swansong for Evergrande and China captain Zheng Zhi, despite the ageing midfielder continuing to turn out impressive performances for club and country.
China will travel to Campbelltown in Western Sydney for a eight-day training camp from December 29, with a friendly on January 5 against Oman in Penrith. They will play their first Asian Cup match against Saudi Arabia on January 10 in Brisbane.
China’s 23-man Asian Cup squad
Wang Dalei (Shandong Luneng)
Zheng Cheng (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Yan Junling (Shanghai SIPG)
Zhang Linpeng (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Ren Hang (Jiangsu Sainty)
Zhang Chengdong (Beijing Guoan)
Jiang Zhipeng (Guangzhou R&F)
Mei Fang (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Ji Xiang (Jiangsu Sainty)
Li Ang (Jiangsu Sainty)
Zheng Zhi (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Wu Xi (Jiangsu Sainty)
Hao Junmin (Shandong Luneng)
Yu Hanchao (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Wu Lei (Shanghai SIPG)
Yu Hai (Guizhou Renhe)
Sun Ke (Jiangsu Sainty)
Liu Jianye (Jiangsu Sainty)
Liu Binbin (Shandong Luneng)
Liao Lisheng (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Cai Huikang (Shanghai SIPG)
Gao Lin (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Yang Xu (Shandong Luneng)