SHANGHAI, May 26 (Reuters) - Former German international Carsten Jancker made his debut for Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua on Thursday and although he failed to find the net, his coach believes the tall striker will soon hit form.
Jancker came on as a 60th-minute substitute in Shenhua's 3-0 victory over Liaoning at a rainy Hongkou Stadium, but he was unable to make a significant impact and looked short of match fitness.
'That was certainly not the Jancker most of us know,' Shanghai Shenhua Wu Jingui coach told the South China Morning Post.
'But as he plays more games in the Super League, the real Jancker will emerge.
'It won't be too long before defenders will be having nightmares about him.'
At his best, the burly 1.94-metre tall striker was a potent aerial threat for Bayern Munich and Germany, winning the European Cup in 2001 and scoring 10 goals in 33 international appearances.
After a disappointing two-year spell with Udinese in Italy, he returned to Germany in 2004 with Kaiserslautern, who were relegated from the Bundesliga at the end of last season.
The 31-year-old turned down offers from several European clubs to join Shenhua on a one-year contract, accepting a far lower salary than others offered - a reported $500,000 for one season.
There was some initial confusion over the German's contract, with Shenhua stating he had signed for three years and Jancker insisting that he had agreed to only one.
There were even questions over whether he would come at all, as Shenhua's office told Reuters on Monday that Jancker was still not in China and probably would not be playing on Thursday.