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Zhang Xizhe
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Stratenschulte

Bundesliga club Wolfsburg sign Chinese midfielder Zhang Xizhe

December 17, 2014

Wolfsburg have completed the signing of Chinese international Zhang Xizhe from Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan. The 23-year-old midfielder is set to make his first appearance for the Wolves after Christmas.

https://p.dw.com/p/1E6GY

Zhang Xizhe has become the fourth Chinese player to join the Bundesliga, after signing with northern German club, Wolfsburg, this week.

"It's a big honour for me to play for VfL Wolfsburg," Zhang said at the press conference in Wolfsburg, in stilted German.

Zhang, who watched from the stands as his new team were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Paderborn on Sunday, has signed a contract with the club until 2017. Wolfsburg is believed to have paid his former club, Beijing Guoan, 750,000 euros ($930,000) for the transfer.

"He is someone who can help us in the long-term," Wolfsburg's sporting and media director Klaus Allofs said. The industrial city club, who have often struggled to establish an identity internationally, are currently coming second in the league.

The 23-year-old, who has played 10 times for his country and scored twice, is known as a quick player with good ball skills. He is now expected to pair up with players such as Kevin de Bruyne and Ivan Perisic in Wolfsburg's midfield.

A Chinese edition of the Wolfsburg club homepage was launched on Monday, a day before Zhang's unveiling, but coach Dieter Hecking denied that the signing was simply a marketing tool.

"I'm always reading it's an advertising gimmick," he said. "Rubbish, he is not a gimmick."

al (AP, dpa)

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