Studs and Duds: Rating Hulk, Tevez and more of China's foreign legion
In the groove
Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande)
His hat-trick in a World Cup qualifier showed a move to China doesn't automatically equal the death of an international career
The Evergrande midfielder should be the poster boy for big-money imports into Asia – and probably would be had he not been criticised for advertising a gambling website alongside a Japanese porn star.
Apart from that, the former Spurs man has not put a foot wrong.
He was the best player in 2016 as he helped Guangzhou to a sixth straight CSL title. This season has been just as good, perhaps better.
He has not only returned to the national team despite playing in Asia but his hat-trick in Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier in March showed that a move to China does not automatically equal the death of an international career.
Giovanni Moreno (Shanghai Shenhua)
The Colombian does not command the same headlines as some bigger-name imports, but he surely deserves a similar sized pay packet as he produces the goods game after game, season after season.
Moreno, already a hero among the club's passionate fans, has started his sixth Shanghai season with the kind of brilliance usually associated with the city's sparkling skyline.
Five goals in six games from the playmaker is impressive enough, but his all-round play is also the type of top quality we have come to expect.
Oscar (Shanghai SIPG)
Forget the two missed penalties in the space of a few minutes against Urawa Reds in the Asian Champions League – Shanghai will still be in the next stage – Oscar has stepped into the sizeable shoes of departed playmaker Dario Conca with ease.
The Brazilian may have been more expensive than the Argentine, but the $60 million handed over to Chelsea in January is making a difference.
Oscar has been linking up well with Hulk and the rest of his teammates and there is a suggestion of plenty more to come.
Eran Zahavi (Guangzhou R&F)
Few expected Guangzhou’s other team to be setting the pace after six games, but there they are with 16 points, three ahead of Shanghai SIPG, Evergrande and Shandong Luneng through six games.
Zahavi has certainly played his part with six goals, the Israeli leading the goalscoring charts ahead of some much more famous names, including Papiss Cisse (4) and Hulk (3).
If he keeps scoring at the current rate then coach Dragan Stojkovic and his men could be in for quite a season.
Hulk (Shanghai SIPG)
The striker arrived in the summer of 2016 amid great fanfare and a greater fee. A quick goal whetted the appetite that an injury soon soured.
He returned in February literally bigger but seemingly better, with a spectacular winner at FC Seoul in the Asian Champions League.
Not the most subtle of strikers, Hulk provides a constant goal threat and worry to defenders as seven goals in 10 appearances in all competitions suggests.