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Transfer Talk: Busan IPark (updated)

How active do you think your team will be in the winter window?

I think they'll be more active than usual given the circumstances the club finds itself in, but a lot will depend on how many players end up leaving the club. Thus far the club has been relatively quiet, with only three players from the open tryout and a university keeper being signed. That will likely change as time goes on.

*Update* Choi Young-joon has said that he intends to bring in 13-15 new players this winter. Thus far five have been confirmed (see below), and there is one (Youngnam University keeper Kim Hyung-geum) that is reportedly to happen. Three new foreign players will be signed, so that leaves 4-6 more signings. 

What's your team's biggest area of need? Who are some potential targets you'd like to see fill those holes?

Really though the club just needs more quality overall, but at this point in time I'd say defense is the biggest issue. Lee Jeong-hyeob is still signed on and Lim Sang-hyub will return midseason, so the attack should be okay. Joo Se-jong is still in midfield. Lee Bum-young has left, but Lee Chang-geun is still (at the moment) with the club.

Busan's only solid defender, Lee Gyeong-ryeol, is off to the army for his 20 month stint. That leaves Kim Chan-young, Kim Jong-hyuk, Lee Chung-woong, and Noh Haeng-seok as the established centerbacks. None really impressed, but perhaps the Challenge is more their level? Ku Hyun-joon seems to have established himself with the Korea U23 team, so one would figure that he'll see time at leftback. The rest of the fullbacks are fairly average.

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

The samba crew have returned to Brazil, and that's that. Other than them, I can't really say anyone should be sold/loaned, particularly with the new reserve/U23 league coming into effect next season. The young players will likely go there for time. I suppose if there was a Classic team that would play him regularly, that could be a good situation guys like Kim Jin-kyu or Lee Gyu-seong.
What transfers have already taken place and how do you see them playing out in 2016? 

Busan has officially just signed the three players from the open tryout. Park Gyeong-rok (centerback, 23), Jang Hyun-woo (fullback, 22), and Kim Dae-ho (fullback, 22) are the three who made it. Park Gyeong-rok has no notable experience to speak of, and the website describes him as being very fit, having solid defensive skills, and good at buildup play. Jang Hyun-woo has the most experience, having been drafted by FC Seoul (and subsequently released) back in 2012, and playing for Sangju Sangmu. He was noted for his crossing ability. Kim Dae-ho played for Ulsan University and was called up to the U-22 team at one point. He was noted for being quick and a good at combining with others.

I don't know exactly how any of them will fit into the team. It's possible they'll mainly just fill out the numbers for the new reserve team. That being said, as I pointed out earlier the defense is not blessed with talent, so they could see time with the senior squad.

*Update* Just after I posted this Busan announced their first two signings: forwards Choi Seung-in (Gangwon) and Ko Gyeong-min (Anyang). Ko Gyeong-min has gotten fans excited as he had a very good season for Anyang. Choi Seung-in has drawn less excitement, but he's a local kid (who knocked Busan out of the KFA Cup) and I always think having local kids is good. Assuming Lee Jeong-hyeob stays, and the eventual return of Lim Sang-hyub midseason, that makes a solid-very good attack.

Lee Jeong-hyeob: 7 goals, 6 assists
Lim Sang-hyub: 12 goals, 3 assists
Ko Gyeong-min: 15 goals, 1 assist
Choi Seung-in: 11 goals, 3 assists

The four combined for 45 goals and 13 assists last season (all in Challenge). That also includes the fact that Lee Jeong-hyeob missed a significant amount of time due to his facial injury (only played 17 games), so if he gets a full season that could be more. However it does raise some questions about Lee Jeong-hyeob's future with the club. While the club did need to boost the attack in terms of depth, one feels like these are not "depth" signings. I can't claim expert knowledge on either, but I believe Choi Seung-in can play on the wing while Ko Gyeong-min a center forward. Choi Young-joon seems to clearly favor using a 4-3-3, so it's difficult to see Ko Gyeong-min and Lee Jeong-hyeob both playing.

Who's an "ideal" signing that would do well in the K-League?

Without really considering finances, I think a famous EPL player would be best given the country's fascination with it. An 'ideal' signing would probably be someone like Steven Gerrard or something. A player with big name recognition and isn't completely past it. Patrice Evra would also be an interesting signing. He's well known in Korea for his friendship with Park Ji-sung, and even made an appearance on popular Korean TV show Running Man.

For Busan, I can't really think of an 'ideal' signing. If I stretch the rules of the question a bit (and to be honest I don't know if he has the requisite qualifications), I would say an ideal 'signing' would be Ahn Jung-hwan as coach. Ahn was of course an iconic player for the club and city, so it would be a logical coaching appointment for the club. It's hard to think of a footballer that better represents the city than him. Managers also get quite a lot of attention in Korean media, which would help the club.

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