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K League Classic Focus: Jung Seung-hyun

Jung Seung- hyun, 22 years old. (photo credit: Ulsan Hyundai football club official facebook page.)

Great header, good marker, good at positioning, and strong on tackles. This is Jung Seung- hyun described in a  few words. Despite being 1.88 cm tall, he is quite fast and agile.

This 2016 is looking amazing for the young defender; First, he conquered, along side with Lee Jae- sung, (not the Jeonbuk's one) a spot in the Ulsan's regular starting line up. This duo has conceded just 6 goals in 8 games, from then the tigers started to climb at the top of K league classic standing -at that time Seongnam was 3rd in the table-. Those 8 games were the best ones of the season for the team based in Ulsan, they never looked that good ever again during this league campaign. 7 wins and Seongnam surpassed in 3rd place. Then conquered the olympic team, in wich he wasn't supposed to be a starter CB, but i will discuss about all that below.

In the meantime... if you are wondering, how many goals has Ulsan conceded without them playing togheter, here are the stats you're looking for: 19 games played and 29 goals conced.

First season's caps and  central back couple with Kang Min- soo

The Season starts off with Jung Seung- hyun having a couple of caps as a susbstitute, in the second game vs Jeonnam he got a red card, in less than twenty minutes he come in. On may 1 2016, he made his season debut as a starter teaming up with Kang Min- soo. The outcome was really good, as Ulsan got away from the Sungui Arena Park with a 0-1 victory. However, it was exactly the opposite as good when a very high flying Seongnam team, and Hwang Euj- Jo in particular, hit an huge blow on them; Ulsan vs Seongnam 0-3.

Partnership with Lee Jae- sung and 4 clean sheets in the league.

Since that loss, Jung Seung- hyun's new partner become Lee Jae- sung. The season for both Ulsan and Jung Seung- Hyun changed for the better; Jung, helped by Lee's experience, start to gain confidence and improve week after week. Ulsan record with that paternship says: 7 wins and a single draw, with 4 clean sheets. During that undefeated streak (with both playing, not Ulsan as a whole), he managed to score his only goal of the season, in a excting 2-4 win against Suwon Samsung Bluewings.

Very solid perfomances at the olympic games and return to S. Korea

Few months before the olympics games, he played a couple friendly matches and won Shin Tae- yong's heart, who gave the youngster a chance to be one of the centrals backs. The original plan for the korean coach was to play Choi Kyu- Baek and Jung Sung- hyun as CBs, and advancing Jang Hyun- soo to a deep lying midfielder role. Plan very soon changed as Jeonbuk's rookie got injured at half time vs Germany and so it was Jang Hyun- soo himself to play along side with Jung, forming the JJ (Jung and Jang) couple. In the third game of the group stages, against Mexico, the talented Ulsan defender has proved to be a guy to keep an eye on; He basically was a human wall, nobody won an header against him, never caught out of position, nor outmuscled. He played a solid match against Honduras as well, but unfortunately for S. Korea under 23, the journey in Brazil has ended that night. Now Jung is back in S. Korea to finish the season well and establish even more into the club.

One more season at Ulsan vital for his growth

Judging the potential of a player is always difficult, even more so when we are talking about a 22 years old defender, who generally speaking reach his peak at 26, 27 or even at 28 years old. Not even Nesta was the Nesta we all admired at 22 years old. One thing is for sure; He needs to stay with his club for at least one more season before moving away, especially if Ulsan will play in the AFC champions league next season.


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