Foreign players brought in put Mushekwi’s place at risk
Zimbabwean forward Nyasha Mushekwi has a brilliant scoring record throughout his career at every club he has been at but for some mental reason the Dalian Yifang manager Ma Lin had decided it would be better to sign three new more high profile foreigners for their return to the Chinese Super League.
In China, each club is only allowed to name 3 foreign players from outside of Asia in their starting lineup, and the summer before the 2018 Chinese Super League began, Ma Lin and Dalian Yifang brought in Jose Fonte from West Ham United plus Yanick Carrasco and Nico Gaitain some high profile transfers, this left the little known Mushekwi wondering whether or not he would be one of the clubs used foreign players.
Ma Lin shuns Mushekwi for more high profile signings
As was expected, Mushekwi was shunned by then manager Ma Lin in favor of the new arrivals from Europe, and rumours were flying around and the time that Dalian were trying to offload Mushekwi if they could find a buyer. Fortunately for the club they didn’t manage to dispose of him. However for foreign players in China who find themselves suddenly dumped, and on the outside of the squad unable to play; life must be pretty miserable regardless of the reported salaries flying around. Not many football players want to be sitting on their backside watching the team play whom they are supposed to be playing with.
After Ma Lin’s decision, the club failed to make a great start to the season – getting thumped 8-0 on the opening day, which made global headlines due to it being the new signings debut game. A lot of papers led the headlines of their sports pages with Carrasco’s new side thumped 8-0 on his debut. Things didn’t get any better as they struggled to win a fair amount of games at the start of the season with Ma Lin seemingly clueless as to what would be the best way to implement his foreign contingent.
Ma Lin gets replaced by Bernd Schuster
Ma Lin eventually gets the chop for having a disastrous run of results which see’s Dalian facing relegation if nothing changes. The club then appoint ex Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster and things suddenly start to look up for both club and Mushekwi.
At the first possible opportunity, Shuster decides that having Jose Fonte taking up a valuable foreign player spot is pointless and gets rid. There is a reason that nearly all teams in the Chinese Super League use their allocated foreigner slots on a sexy attacking trio, because it wins them games. Shuster being an experienced manager clocked on to this in no time and obviously made sure Fonte was aware of it too, therefore it seemed like Fonte left by mutual consent.
The next thing Shuster did, was to realise having someone who is a very good scorer rotting in the reserves is madness. Therefore he got Mushekwi back into the squad and the first team, and the striker has repaid that faith by scoring important goals in the relegation battle. Who would have thought it? A goal scoring striker is important to a team in the relegation run in. Mushekwi has scored 10 goals in the relegation fight and most have yielded 3 points in the fight for the cause. Needless to say booting out Jose Fonte, and bring little heard of Nyasha Mushekwi back into the side has been a stroke of genius.