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West Bromwich Albion sign China's Zhang Yuning from Vitesse Arnhem

Zhang Yuning will be loaned to Werder Bremen for the next two seasons.

West Bromwich Albion have signed China international striker Zhang Yuning from Vitesse Arnhem and loaned him to Bundesliga side Werder Bremen for the next two seasons.

Zhang arrives with West Brom looking to strengthen their profile in China, the homeland of the club's controlling shareholder Lai Guochuan.

"Zhang will get the chance to further develop at Bremen, with whom we have an excellent relationship," West Brom director of football administration Richard Garlick told the club's official website.

"He will be challenging for a place in a top European league and we will be monitoring his progress before reassessing his prospects at the end of the loan period.

"There is no doubt he has a lot of qualities which Bremen are well positioned to grow and develop.

"His progress will be the subject of great interest here at Albion but also in Germany and in China."

Zhang began his career with Hangzhou Greentown before joining Vitesse in 2015, becoming the first Chinese player to score in the Eredivisie in March the following year.

The 20-year-old has received regular international callups from the national team despite his lack of regular game time in the Eredivisie.

Coach Marcello Lippi, speaking ahead of China's meeting with South Korea in March, said: "His quality is recognised at national team level, so I called him. I hope he can win more chances with his club in order to maintain a consistent level."

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch

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