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Dong Sings New Deal

Chinese international Dong Fangzou finally finished his spell at Royal Antwerp, having signed a new contract with United after securing a work permit to be able to play in England.

I still remember the day when he signed in 2004. I was baffled. I saw the news on CNN teletext (what a useless detail for an article, really...) and I asked myself, 'who's this and why we need him?'.

It's 2007 now but I'm still not convinced. Really, with the likes of Rossi, Frazier Campbell, Febian Brandy or Joe Fagan at the club, we need a young Chinese attacker? He's scored 35 goals in 60 games in Belgium and that's not bad but Belgian second division is hardly comparable to the Premiership.

Well, I'm left to stew in my doubts, as Sir Alex Ferguson is excited to welcome the first-ever Chinese player to wear the United shirt.

'We're all excited he has eventually arrived and can start playing,' he told 'He sacrificed two and a half years at Royal Antwerp, which showed great patience and determination.

'He is quick and athletic and he can only improve by training with the first team squad here.'

He looked good in the various pre-season tournaments he participated in, and scored the winning goal against Kaiser Chiefs last summer. But one can't avoid the suspicion he was eventually bought for marketing and merchandising reasons... we will find out. After all, there's the positive example of Park: an Asian player who became a success story at Old Trafford (or so I think). But of course, Park's an established international who tortured the Milan backline beyond dignity while playing for PSV in 2005 so comparisons might be misleading...

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 17 2007

Time: 2:14PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
hopefully he can become a good player for us but i dont think there will be many oppertunities for him
Report Abuse
17/01/2007 14:35:00

Belgian football might not be the best but if you look at it another way hes scored more than 1 goal every 2 games in a team that cant possibly provide the sort of service to the strikers as a decent prem side, henrik larsson was the same at celtic people dismissed his ability because of the standard of scottish football but remember the goals are the same size no matter where you play and if a striker puts it in the corner no keepers getting to it
Report Abuse
17/01/2007 15:28:00

Kanchelskis, I hope you'll be right. A fair argument so we just have to wait and see what he's able to do for us.
Report Abuse
17/01/2007 15:49:00

yeah i hope your right to
Report Abuse
17/01/2007 16:32:00

I hope I'm right, if not I'll follow city
Report Abuse
17/01/2007 21:14:00

That promise is a bit rash, don't you think? :-)
Report Abuse
18/01/2007 15:05:00

Expanding into the developing Chinese Market by any chance? Only problem will be is when sponsord demand to see their man on the pitch, not a problem if he is good enough.
Report Abuse
21/01/2007 23:48:00


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