China squad announced with no Li Ke (Nico Yennaris)

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This week Li Tie announced his first China squad since replacing Marcello Lippi with the major shocking coming as recently nationalised Li Ke was not included. It is a huge show of intent as the new man in charge looks to create a stronger side able to compete against the best in Asia. 

A new look 

In March China will face the Maldives and Guam in two must-win matches and this week Li Tie announced his squad. This was a younger squad for them after recent criticism over selecting ageing stars. The average age of this group was just 29-years-old compared to the average age of the China side that took part in the last Asian Cup which was the oldest at the tournament.

The big news is that Li Ke is not included in this side while the big hitters Wu Lei,  Elkeson and Hao Junmin are selected. Another note to see mention is that the new boss as included four players from his old side Wuhan Zall.

Glancing at the side then it is Xu Xin who looks like he may take Li Ke's defensive midfield position. The 25-year-old for sure is one to look out for as the current Guangzhou Evergrande man who once played for Atletico Madrid has potential for sure.

Although after four years back in China he has yet to really prove himself and if he plays next month it will be his debut for his country.

After all, it is clear the new man in charge wants to make his mark and with his new team choices it clear he will pick his players. As he faces two matches they should win by a few goals his experiments in selections are not such huge risks.

The real test will be if he can defeat the Philippines and Syria in June with his new-look side and he does do so maybe Li Tie is building a side worth talking about. 

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