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Busan signs two centerbacks

Busan seems to be coming to the end of their transfer business, having already signed a dozen new players, but this weekend two more new signings were announced. The club announced the first foreign player signing as well as the return of a familiar face.

Lee Won-young returns

We'll start with the familiar face. The club teased the return of a former player last week, and netizens quickly determined that the player in question was former captain Lee Won-young (Lee Jung-ho). Lee had posted a picture on his personal Instagram telling that he would return to Busan IPark for one year. Yesterday, the club officially made the announcement that Lee Won-young was returning.

Screenshot courtesy of busanipark.com
The man nicknamed "The Heading Machine" spent six season with Busan previously, from 2009-2014, before moving to Pattaya United in the Thailand second division (Thai Division 1) in 2015. With Pattaya, Lee Won-young helped the team earn promotion back to the Thai Premier League, and was the club's second-highest scorer with 10 goals.

Lee Won-young will likely play an important role for Busan's defense next season with Lee Gyeong-ryeol off to the military. Lee's most important task is likely to help get underperforming centerbacks Kim Jong-hyuk and Kim Chan-young to step up their game, and to add some veteran stability to what will likely be a younger backline. Lee's leadership will also be important as Busan constantly wilted late in games often conceding late goals.

First foreign signing - Samuel

The first official foreign signing for Busan is yet another Brazilian. However, this Brazilian plays in defense rather than attack, so it's a slight deviation from the usual. Busan (and the K League in general) get a bit of flack for signing so many Brazilians, but for Busan it is slightly logical given the fact that we have a Brazilian on the coaching staff (Denis Iwamura).

Screenshot courtesy of busanipark.com
Anyway, the foreign signing is Samuel (full name Samuel Firmino de Jesus). A Brazilian centerback who last played for Atletico Goianiense in Brazil's Serie B. Samuel does seem to be the journeyman Brazilian that typifies the ones that usually ends up in Korea. He's bounced around Brazil and Europe with his Wikipedia page showing he's played for 14 different clubs. For Busan fans, they will take hope that his stints with Werder Bremen (Germany), Anderlecht (Belgium), and Braga (Portugal) are an indication of his talent, and hope that his journeyman nature is not an indication of his inability to make the grade.

Busan's player introduction of him reminds a bit of former player Nilson Junior. Nilson was a holding midfielder who was eventually converted into a centerback by Yoon Sung-hyo. Samuel is a centerback by trade, but is described by the club as a player who can advance out of the backline and can also play as a holding midfielder. I imagine Choi Young-joon will eventually want Samuel as a regular, but he may need some adjustment time.

The team takes shape?

With the additional defensive reinforcements, Choi Young-joon's team seems to be finally taking shape. Is the team below what we'll see on opening day?


What do you think of the latest signings? Will they help strengthen Busan's weak defense? Does the above XI look capable of achieving promotion? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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