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Transfer Talk: FC Seoul

Which player(s) signed in the 2014/2015 windows has performed best for your team this season?

I would say that this is a difficult question for me to answer.  Looking at the FC Seoul's 2014/2015 transfer activity (transfermarket.co.uk), it does not seem that they signed anyone other than Everton, who played on loan with Seoul last year.  In fact, I would say that over half of the arrivals are players coming back from loan.

From those players returning, only Jung Jo-gook and Kim Dong-woo have made any sort of "impact".  Kim Min-seok, who returned from Incheon has only played 22 minutes this year.  Lee Min-hyeok, who was drafted from Kwangwoon University, has started three games but his last start came in April against Gwangju.  The big name of course, Park Chu-young, was a free transfer.

I would say that only three players have had any impact and they are Jung Jo-gook, Kim Dong-woo, and Park Chu-young.  Jung Jo-gook started out the year in poor form, but he seems to be coming on.  He scored a good goal against Incheon (lucky, but still..) and he has looked a lot more frisky as of late.  Kim Dong-woo did not play much in the beginning of the year, but he has played in Seoul's last four games, which coincide with their best form so far this year.

Park Chu-young has played the most out of the three.  He has three goals to his name- a penalty, a deflection against Jeonbuk, and one against Jeonnam.  I have been dubious about his signing since he hasn't played in such a long time, but seems to be finding some form.  Also, his signing gave the fans a lift in the beginning of the season.  There were over 30 thousand fans at Seoul's opener to see PCY wave to them at half time.  Therefore, I would say he has been the best signing this season so far.

Though it's traditionally a quiet window, if your team were to pick someone up this window who would you like it to be?

I think Seoul could use someone who has an incredible amount of speed on the wing.  Yun Il-lok has had his ups-and-downs this year and Seoul have struggled on the counter this year.  I cannot think of any counter attacking goal that score have scored this season.  It has been from set pieces or build up play.

Also, I really would like to see Seoul sign a midfielder with vision that can pass.  Ideally, my wish list would include Xavi or Pirlo, since both are said to be available, but of course this will never happen.  If Koo Ja-cheol returned from Germany that would be great as well, but I cannot foresee this happening.

Is there someone on the team you'd like to see loaned out or sold?

I am sure if you asked other Seoul fans this question, you would get a wide variety of answers.  For example, one of my students that follows Seoul thinks Jung Jo-gook is too old and should go.  I, on the other hand, think he still has something to offer, especially if Park Chu-young and he can form an understanding.

Kim Yong-dae, so long the first choice goal keeper, has been relegated to the bench since the 5-1 thrashing against Suwon.  He started the second leg of the AFC game against Gamba Osaka, but he had to dig the ball out of the net three times that night as well.  Yu Sang-hun has gotten the majority of the minutes this season and as he has continued to improve, I can't see Kim Yong-dae dislodging him any time soon.  That being said, injuries do occur, so they probably should hang onto Kim Yong-dae.

I think two players should go out on loan.  The first is Park Hee-seong.  He has only played 16 minutes this year. A lot of fans are critical of him, but I think he could be a good player.  Seoul was, in my opinion, better with him on the field than without.  The game in November against Busan last year is a good example.  He needs to play to develop and right now, that is not happening.

I also think Kim Min-hyeok should go out to play.  He has played in three games, but none since the end of April.  Choi Soo-yong must have seen something special in him since he started the season opener against Ulsan.  Maybe if he played for a team in the K-League Challenge, he could begin to develop as well.  

Who would be a great signing for the league? 

I think Korean Lex, in his Transfer Talk article about Jeonbuk covered this area the best.  Not many teams can shell out the money for premier players, which means they have to go towards signing former national greats such as Cha Du-ri and Park Chu-young.  I think this is a good short term strategy, but it does not help the league long term.

Korean Lex also mentioned finding a European team to partner up with.  I think this is a great solution.  I am surprised the league has not looked into this more often.  Hell, I didn't know that Jeonbuk were partnered up with FC Lyon.

In my opinion, more important than a great signing, the challenge is keeping talent in the league. So many good players have left to China in the last few years and I do not foresee this changing.  The Chinese Super League, from what I have read, is awash money and they are spending it.  They have had famous managers such as Marcello Lippi, Sven-Goran Erickson, and Luiz Felipe Scolari.  Notable players in the Chinese Super League have been Drogba, Anelka, Utaka, Yukubu, Conca, and Gilardino.  I could not see any of these guys moving to the K-League.

Closer to home, Dejan and Ha Dae-sung departed to China in 2014.  Escudero left to Jiangsu Guoxin-Sainty at the end of March and Kim Ju-young moved to the Shanghai SIPG before the season started.  Both were critical in Seoul's success last season, especially Kim Ju-young, who Seoul have yet to replace.  I think a lot of their early season defensive struggles were a result of his departure.

Which team needs a transfer the most?

Looking at the table, obviously it is Daejeon.  Other than Adriano, I cannot think of a player that has done well for them.  They have only scored eight, but have conceded twenty-five.  A transfer on either end would probably help them out.

Korean Lex mentioned Fagner and Busan.  I think he is right about them as well.  They have not replaced Fagner and they have struggled offensively.  I also think Incheon could use some help up front.  They have only scored one goal more than Busan.  In the games that I have watched against Seoul, both teams were unlucky to not score goals, but maybe if they had a bit more quality then they wouldn't rue their misfortune.

Really, I think every team needs help somewhere.  Outside of Jeonbuk, no team has lit it up this year and even they are experiencing a dip in form.  It will be interesting to see which team pulls the trigger and goes for it since the table is so close and other than Daejeon and maybe Busan and Incheon, any team has the possibility to finish in the top six.  

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