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Transfer Talk: Seoul E-Land FC



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

Overall, last season was something of a disappointment with E-Land only managing to make the play-offs and then losing out to Suwon so I'd like to think the team will be fairly active in the window. There are also a few players already confirmed to have left and a couple more that look to be on their way out so I would think we'd be looking at 4 or 5 signings during this window. It would also depend on how many others are moved on. E-Land have a relatively tight squad compared to others in the league, and given Martin Rennie was keen to plunder the university league last time around I think we would also see some youngsters coming in to beef up the squad in addition to the 4 or 5 first-teamers.

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

Right now we could probably do with strengthening in all areas of the park except goalkeeper  as exits have left some not insubstantial holes that need to be plugged.

At the back, Hwang Do-yeon's loan has finished and I understand he will be part of the Police squad next season so that's a big gap to fill. Potentially, Yang Ki-hoon or Shin Il-soo could plug that space as both were used there to decent effect last season. I'm not a huge fan of any of our full-back options and I felt weakness in this area contributed to our poor defensive record last season. 

As far as replacements go, I understand Busan full-back Yoo Ji-no is a free agent and I think he could be a good addition if he's available as he has plenty of experience and has always looked pretty competent when I've watched him play. If our Asian slot frees up another name to throw into the mix would be Australian international Ryan McGowan who may be on his way out of Scottish Premiership strugglers Dundee Utd. McGowan would be a decent right sided full-back or centre-half and, having already spent some time in China wouldn't be a stranger to plying his trade in an Asian league.

In the middle of the park, Kim Young-geun (or Kim Sung-ju as he is now called) has gone to the Army and his direct style will be missed in linking midfield and attack.  There will also be another year in the legs of Cho Won-hee and Kim Jae-sung so relying on them to play 40 games may be too much. I wasn't overly impressed with our other midfield options and so I'd like to see us bring in a strong midfielder to add some grit in that area of the park.

I'd love to see us sign a real midfield hardman who would put a few of the opposition up in the air as I felt we were too soft at times last season when the going got tough. Step forward ex-Scotland international Ian Black currently plying his trade at Shrewsbury Town and one of the finest exponents of the tackle from behind in the game. Another ex-Rangers man that might be worth a look is Aussie Matt McKay although I'm not sure of his status at Brisbane currently and he might not be tempted back to Korea having spent a spell with Busan previously.

Finally, up front we have a good base to build on assuming that Joo Min-kyu can be held onto. Elsewhere though Ryan Johnson has been released and the story is that Bobby Cullen will soon follow. Tarabai, I also assume, won't be coming back for another spell next season as I have heard nothing to suggest that he will. 

On the good news front, Gangwon front man Jonatas Belluso seems to have been signed up for 2016 and that's a decent capture. Whether Rennie thinks this might be enough with cover provided by Lee Jae-an, Choi Yoo-sang and others remains to be seen. If not then one name that was suggested last season was a return of Dzenan Radoncic to Korea and he'd certainly be an exciting capture. Another name that was mentioned in passing last season was Scotland international Shaun Maloney and that would be quite a coup for the league although that chance may have passed.

*ETA: As of 4th Jan it seems that Bobby Cullen and Lee Jae-an will also be leaving which would suggest that another forward is definitely required.*

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

The biggest candidates for being released were probably the foreigners, in particular the disappointing Ryan Johnson and it looks like that has already been taken care of. With a handful leaving there isn't an awful lot of room to see more head for the exits and I would expect that barring a big money bid for Joo Min-kyu the only other possible moves would be perhaps some of the youngsters that didn't quite make the breakthrough. 

What transfers have already taken place and how do you see them playing out in 2016?

As mentioned already, the one transfer in that seems to be more or less confirmed is Jonatas Belluso of Gangwon. The Brazilian was probably Gangwon's star-man last season and I see him as being a pretty good capture. 15 goals in 31 games for a team that were struggling for large parts of the season is a pretty damn good return and he's a player I liked a lot. No complaints on that one and a positive sign if that's the standard of signing we can expect in this window. 

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

If we're talking specifically about the Challenge then it's unlikely there will be any earth shattering marquee signings coming to the league so we probably will have to make do with whatever we can get. That being said Suwon snapping up Sisi from Spain last season came out of the blue and at least sparked a bit of interest. 

From my own point of view I'd love to see Martin Rennie raiding his homeland and bring in a Scottish player. Top of my list would have been footballing magician James McFadden but it looks like he will be off to the US so that's probably not a goer. In a similar vein, former Blackburn player David Goodwillie seems to be struggling to find a regular start with anyone in Scotland and could possibly be tempted by a new challenge. Alexei Eremenko probably is less fit for 90 minutes of football than me these days but if Dan Harris could knock him into shape we could have another Zoran Urumov on our hands.

Finally, and just for my own entertainment, I'd like to suggest a joker in the shape of man-mountain Exodus Geohaghon who I think is now at English Non-League outfit Torquay United. I remember seeing this guy play at Peterborough years ago and I'm pretty sure a 6'5" guy with dreadlocks and a 40-yard plus long-throw would be an absolute sensation in the Korean second tier. 

See the man in action here: 

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