Transfer Talk - Suwon Bluewings
(Santos has done his best to provide the goals for Suwon this season but he is in desperate need of reinforcements all over the pitch if Suwon are going to fight their way out of the predicament they find themselves in. Photo Credit: www.bluewings.co.kr)
Which player(s) signed in the Winter Transfer Window has performed best for your team this season?
This should be more of a question of 'Which, if any, of the Suwon's winter signings have actually seen significant game time? And if they did see any game time, which player didn't play the worst?'. Because, after a disastrous winter transfer window Suwon were left with a squad that was largely the same as last season with a splatter of inexperienced and untried youngsters.
However, the two standout new players have probably been Kim Gun-hee and Lee Jung-soo, 2 players that are at completely different stages of their careers but have both performed reasonably well this season.
Kim Gun-hee was a major boost for Suwon as he was initially signed as a player for the future. However, it quickly transpired that, even at such a young age, he was the best striking option in the Suwon squad. He made a shock debut in the 1st game of the season and has gone onto notch another 14 appearances. And while a goal return of 2 is not exactly headline making, it has been his other attributes that have caught the eye. I am very interested to see how he and new signing Johnathan will link up and if everything goes to plan it could be a devastating partnership. Kim Gun-hee is one of the players to watch over the next few K League seasons and early signs are that he will develop into a very fine player.
Lee Jung-soo was picked up after his contract with Al-Sadd expired and after a rocky start has grown into his role well and is now Suwon's first choice centre back, when fit. He is a strong and intelligent centre back that has performed well on a regular basis, but has been let down time and time again by his fellow defenders. Whilst lacking pace, his positional play is superb and without Lee Jung-soo Suwon's defensive problems could be much worse.
An honorable mention also has to go to Ko Seung-beom who has seen very little game time but has performed well when he has seen the pitch. The diminutive midfielder, signed from Kyung Hee University, is an extremely versatile midfielder who has played on both wings, central midfield and the number 10 role in his fledgling Suwon career. Infact, when making his debut against Shanghai SIPG he even played as striker for the last 15 minutes of the game. He has demonstrated good ball control and a decent eye for a pass. He is an energetic and committed player that is fast becoming a fans favourite at Big Bird. I would like to see him involved a lot more over the coming months.
Which position (if any) do you think your team needs to target most this transfer window?
All season I have bemoaned Suwon's lack of fire power up front so I was delighted to see the early acquisition of former Daegu star Johnathan. Whilst still being a little bit of a gamble, with Johnathan having never played in Classic, his 40 goals scored for Daegu would suggest that he may be the striker that Suwon have been looking for. A few weeks ago, I had begun to worry about how he would fit into the dynamic of the team, but in recent weeks, having switched to a 5-3-2 system I feel more comfortable. Johnathan will certainly be more effective with another striker up front to play off and Kim Gun-hee could be a useful foil for him.
With the striking and midfield positions all completely filled I would like to see Suwon sign some attacking full backs in this window. I have appreciated the switch in formation recently but if they are to continue playing like this then they need to invest in some quality and athletic players on the flanks.
Whoever Suwon sign the pre-requisite should be youth. Suwon's squad is ageing and with more than half the squad over the age of 30 it is now time to start building towards the future. With no possibility of challenging for any glory in the league, now would be the perfect time to start building a team that can effectively challenge for silverware in the upcoming years.
Is there a player within K-League you'd like to see your team sign? An international player?
As I mentioned above, Suwon desperately need young players that can play in the wing-back role. There are very few of those around in the K League and so I have perhaps chosen a couple of the less renowned players plying their trade in the league.
I would like to see Suwon try to sign Lee Seul-chan in particular. In the games that I have seen this season, the 22 year old has been one of the more consistently better players in a team that is drastically under performing. He has the necessary energy levels to play at wing back and has the quality on the ball to be able to trouble opposing defenders. Although he is valued highly I think trying to sign a player that is only being used sparingly by Jeonnam would be an achievable target.
Young Pohang full back Kim Dong-hyeun has also been a player that I have been impressed with this season. Again, playing in a team that is certainly not fulfilling it's potential, he has been one of the few bright sparks for a poor Pohang team. Comfortable on the ball, with a great engine and still with plenty of time in his career to develop, this could be a perfect addition to a squad that needs an injection of youth.
Besides that, Suwon should attempt to loan any of Jeonbuk's current 200 players that they have sitting in reserve.
Is there someone on the team you'd like to see loaned out or sold?
I don't think Suwon can afford to lose too many players from their squad, especially with Kwon Chang-hoon's involvement in the Olympics coming up. But we could afford to lose some of the strikers we have.
Hygor in particular should move on. As soon as he signed in the winter I think everyone assumed that he would not be good enough at this level, having had come from the 2nd tier of Sao Paolo regional football. And he has proved everyone right. While he cannot be faulted for his lack of effort, he just is not good enough at this level. His touch is poor, he is incredibly weak for someone with such a tall frame and his positional sense is terrible. And now with Johnathan in the ranks it should be time for Hygor to pack up and go home.
Also, I would like to see Jang Hyun-soo loaned out for the remainder of the season to a Challenge club so he can get some much needed experience. On the few occasions he has played this season, the left winger has looked like the most obvious candidate to replace Yeom Ki-hun once he retires. He has impressed me with his direct running and the way that he tries to isolate the opposition full back and play the ball beyond him. His crossing still needs to be developed and he could certainly benefit from more game time in the Challenge.
Realistically, who would be a great signing for the league?
This is a tough one as all the foreign spots are currently occupied by both the big spending clubs, so any major foreign signing would need to come from one of the smaller teams.
In that vein, I guess the realization of Edu returning to Suwon would be a major coup for the leaugue. The Brazilian is a legend in Suwon and has already stated his desire to retire in Korea, and with Jeonbuk or Suwon being his first choices of clubs. It most likely won't happen in this window but the dream of an Edu and Johnathan frontline will give me peaceful nights sleep all summer.