Bolton forward Gudjohnsen departs for China
Gudjohnsen on his return for Bolton last season - image via bbc.co.uk

Bolton forward Gudjohnsen departs for China

Bolton Wanderers forward Eidur Gudjohnsen has moved to the Chinese Super League with mid-table side Shijiazhuang Ever Bright

sam-france
Sam France

Icelandic veteran forward Eidur Gudjohnsen has left Championship side Bolton Wanderers, joining Chinese mid-table outfit Shijiazhuang Ever Bright.

36-year-old Gudjohnsen is the latest in a growing line of international footballers making their way to the Chinese Super League in recent weeks, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Chinese football is growing in profile

Guangzhou Evergrande splashed out a fee of almost £10million on Tottenham Hotspur's Brazil midfielder Paulinho, with former Newcastle United and Chelsea forward Demba Ba moving to Shanghai Shenhua for a similar total.

Shijiazhuang are in their first season in the lucrative Chinese top flight, and are currently sitting in eighth position.

The team is based in the capital and largest city of North China's Hebei Province, a city with a population of close to two million people.

Last year's Super League attracted a total of 4,556,520 fans over the course of 2014, according to the league's official data website.

Gudjohnsen has played all over the world

Six-foot-one forward Gudjohnsen is one of the most famous names in Nordic football having played for some of the biggest clubs in world football, in the Premier League and beyond.

His first spell with previous club Bolton came between 1998 and 2000, scoring 26 goals in two seasons and earning a £5million transfer to Chelsea, then under the management of Gianluca Vialli.

He stayed at Stamford Bridge for six seasons, breaking the 20 goal-mark in two separate seasons before moving to Frank Rijkaard's Barcelona as a replacement for legendary Swedish forward Henrik Larsson.

He is a household name in England

Since then, Gudjohnsen has turned out for clubs such as AS Monaco and Club Brugge in Europe, as well as Stoke City and Fulham in England, before a return of six goals in 20 appearances for the Trotters last season.

He is also a seasoned international, with 79 appearances and 25 goals since making his senior bow for Iceland in 1996.

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