Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Korean Exodus To England Set To Continue

Korean Exodus To England Set To Continue.
For some time now, England’s Premier League has been regarded as football’s Promised Land for those in the K-League and the exodus westwards shows little sign of letting up during January’s transfer window – the last opportunity for clubs to buy and sell players until the end of the season.

At the end of 2007, all four English Taeguk Warriors were active in the league –finally. On the day after Christmas, bumper holiday crowds witnessed the unusual sight of the entire quartet clocking up minutes on the pitch - Park Ji-sung returned from a nine-month injury lay-off for Manchester United, Lee Dong-guk tried to score his first goal for Middlesbrough, Seol Ki-hyeon made a rare start for Fulham and Lee Young-pyo completed another 90 minutes in Tottenham’s colours.

The fluctuating fortunes of Korea’s fantastic four haven’t deterred eager compatriots from trying to join them in the world’s richest league. Cho Jae-jin looks likely to make it a famous five. The Little Emperor has long desired to move from Japan to England. After three successful years with Shimizu S-Pulse, the muscular striker is a free agent and England-bound.

Cho jae-jin in familiar pose

The process hasn’t been entirely smooth. Cho’s agent told reporters that four English clubs had expressed serious interest. Newcastle United was top of Cho’s list but after the Korean media had declared that the deal was done, the troubled Tyneside team told the English press that: "The club has had discussions with the player and his representatives, but has decided not to proceed any further."

Cho moved from the north-east to the south coast and started talking to Portsmouth at the end of last week. The 26 year-old could provide valuable cover for the club which will lose a number of players in January to the African Nations’ Cup.

Seongnam’s Kim Do-heon could also be on his way to the Premier League to join Derby County or West Bromich Albion of the championship. The championship is England’s second tier but WBA is in with a great chance of winning promotion to the Premier League in time for the start of next season. The club’s coach Tony Mowbray is still unsure whether he will sign the midfielder but at least he is getting first hand experience of dealing with Korean agents.

"The agent is trying to get across that Kim is a big star in Korea,” Mowbray told his local newspaper. “There are thousands of people at his wedding, it's front page news over there so he's sent me the pictures to make sure I'm aware of it.
"What they don't always do is work out the time difference very well…I was trying to deal with somebody who is living in Korea and phoning me at strange times.”

Strange times indeed and it is not just senior international player that have been heading west to show what they can do. Captain of the Under-17 team, Yoon Bitgaram had a trial with Premier League club Blackburn Rovers and could become part of the team’s youth program. This will involve a stint in Belgium with Blackburn’s ‘feeder club’ Cercle Brugge.

And all that’s within the first week of the window and while nobody has squeezed through just yet, it is only a matter of time. It will be a busy month.

Copyright: John Duerden & Soccerphile

Bet with Bet 365

World Soccer News

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

No comments: