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Transfer Talk: Daejeon Citizen

In the winter transfer window Daejeon were extremely busy, signing new fewer than eight new players.  The pick of those, or perhaps the most talked about of the eight, were Seo Dong-Hyun on loan from Jeju United and Kim Dong-Chan who arrived from Jeonbuk Hyundai. Whilst the former hasn’t exactly impressed, Kim Dong-Chan has looked the business. Of the others who arrived through the door in winter, young Brazilian forward Gustavo Sauerbeck and, in particular, towering centre half Jean-Claude Bozga, who arrived from Danish club Vestsjælland, have been the other two stand out performers.

Daejeon's star man Kim Dong-Chan. Credit: K League
Which player(s) signed in the Winter Transfer Window has performed best for your team this season?

The signing of Seo Dong-Hyun was heralded as an excellent piece of business, as was Kim Dong-Chan’s arrival, particularly when it was discovered that Daejeon had pipped bitter rivals Suwon Bluewings to the signing of the latter. As any Daejeon fan will tell you that it is Kim Dong-Chan who is proving to be Daejeon’s stand out signing of the season thus far. Stolen from under the beaks of the Suwon Bluewings, Kim Dong-Chan has a goal ratio of one in two games, eight goals from fifteen starts. His industrious and inventiveness has rubbed off on the likes of Gustavo Sauerbeck and has ensured his name to be the first on Coach Choi’s team sheet.

Speaking of whom, the latest Brazilian to join the ranks was forward Gustavo Sauerbeck who signed from Joinville EC in Brazil’s Serie B. Sauerbeck began life in Korea as a victim of Choi Moon-Sik’s tactical tinkering, finding himself in and out of the side on week-to-week basis and so it wouldn’t have been fair to judge the 23-year-old forward too harshly. However, in recent weeks, Sauerbeck has begun to find his feet and put in some sterling performances, no less a recent man of the match performance against high-flying Bucheon thanks to a goal and an assist.

Another success story is the Congolese-Romanian central defender Jean-Claude Bozga, whose signing was announced on the same day as the aforementioned Sauerbeck. Bozga has slotted in alongside Alvaro Silva seamlessly and is arguably Daejeon’s signing of the season thus far. Despite his stature, 194cm (that’s 6ft 4” in old money), Bozga is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can distribute well. His leadership and organisational skills are proving to be a real asset for Daejeon who, despite the slow start, are looking hard to beat.

You can read our exclusive interview with Jean-Claude Bozga here.

Which position (if any) do you think your team needs to target most this transfer window?

Wanderson and Alvaro Silva, who both signed midway through last season, were only due to stay until the summer with new deals said to be discussed nearer the time. Unfortunately for the players, who are believed to have wanted to stay, and indeed the Daejeon supporters, a reduction in Daejeon’s budget means that they will both leave this month.

As such, a central defender is needed to partner Bozga and a winger/wingback to replace Wanderson. Hopefully, Coach Choi has targets in mind as these two have been instrumental in Daejeon’s upturn in form. In addition to these I would be tempted to say another striker too but with Sauerbeck’s recent form I can see a budding partnership between him and Kim Dong-Chan.

Is there a player within K-League you'd like to see your team sign? An international player?

Can we have Adriano back? In all seriousness, due to Daejeon’s already shoestring budget being slashed I am not expecting there to be any big contracts on offer. If any deals are to be concluded it will be untested foreign imports that are likely to come in. It’s important for Daejeon to look beyond passports and sign players based on their abilities, not because they are South American. The signing of Bozga is testament to that.

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

I would send Jin Dae-Sung back to Jeju United as he hasn’t really contributed an awful lot. With money tight as it is, releasing funds for wages would perhaps be a good idea at this stage. With that in mind, I would also like to see some fringe players being loaned out. Once Kim Tae-Bong is fit again I think a loan deal to regain form and fitness would be a wise move. Similarly, young defender Kim Hyung-Jin looks like he needs some first team experience and would perhaps benefit from a loan deal in the National League or similar. Han Eui-Gwon and Go Min-Hyuk featured heavily for Daejeon last season but have hardly had a sniff this term, loan deals for these two forwards would be something I would look into if I was in charge.

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