Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors sign Kim Jin-su
|(Photo Credit: Naver Sports)|
Despite being born in Jeonju, Kim began his professional footballing career in the J1 League, playing two and a half seasons for Albirex Niigata and featuring regularly before catching the eyes of the German Bundesliga. He made his switch to Hoffenheim ahead of the 2014-15 season making 19 appearances (17 starts) in his first season. This number decreased in his second season to 15 before being reduced to zero for the current season, hence the player's desire for a change of scenery.
On the international stage, Kim achieved military exemption in 2014 for claiming gold with the South Korea side in the Asian Games, before being a part of the squad that made it to the final of the Asian Cup one year later, losing in extra time to Australia. Despite having 22 caps for the senior national team, Kim earned his last cap in March 2016 and will now be looking to force his way back into Uli Stielike's setup.
While this may be perceived as a lack of ambition by some, given his struggling form in Europe, this move may work out well for Kim Jin-su. Last year, Kim Bo-kyung found himself in an admittedly different situation in Europe but not too dissimilar in regards to exclusion from the national team before moving to Jeonju. His regular playing time and pivotal role in the Jeonbuk squad last season ultimately helped him force his way back into the South Korean side by September.
Assuming that Kim Jin-su will also be granted a starting role at his new club, this move could benefit him in the same way. He may not have envisaged his career taking what is admittedly a step-down to the K-League so soon, but the league is still competitive and possibly a better option for him than the cash-rich Chinese Super League at present. He will be also playing for the AFC Champions League holders and one of this year's title favourites, affording him more experience against stronger opposition in Asia whilst playing alongside other national team colleagues.