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Hong Jeong-ho joins Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Loan

Hong Jeong-ho joins Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Loan

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors have today confirmed the signing of centre back Hong Jeong-ho on loan from Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning. The former Bundesliga player will join the North Jeolla side for the full duration of the 2018 season.
(Photo Credit: Hani.co.kr)


Hong Jeong-ho was a regular starter for Uli Stielike’s Korean National team and also featured often in the Bundesliga for Augsburg in 2016. Yet, at the age of just 26 and with his best years still ahead of him, he left regular first team football in Europe to head to the Chinese Super League to fill the vacant Asian player slot at Jiangsu Suning. It was a transfer that sparked criticism from Korean supporters who mostly considered his move a cash-grab and led some quarters to question his ambition.

Six months later, the player fell victim of the 2017 rule changes to the foreign quota within the Chinese league, a change that removed the necessity for an Asian based player and instead allowed up to five foreign signings from any nation, yet only three on the pitch at any one time. The change in legislation saw his game time severely cut as he competed with the likes of Alex Texeira and Ramires for a starting berth. Hong made just thirteen domestic appearances last year, although featured in all six of the side’s AFC Champions League games where the Asian quota is still in use.

Prior to his underwhelming stint in China though, Hong had achieved what a number of Korean internationals have failed at, and that was to establish himself at a European club in one of the continent’s top divisions.The centre back spent three years at Augsburg, playing an increasing amount of game time season upon season, making 28 appearances in his last campaign over three competitions. The player's role appeared to be growing in importance before his questionable decision to leave.

Hong Jeong-ho is no stranger to the K League though, having started his career at Jeju United and featuring for four seasons from 2010-2013. The player made fifty appearances in that time, showing enough promise to attract the interest of Augsburg.



The player is also more familiar than most with Jeonbuk, with his brother Hong Jeong-nam having been the first choice goalkeeper for the club for last season. It remains to be seen if his brother will still be with the team come the end of the window as he is available for free agency and is still in the process of renegotiating a new contract.

Of his move, Hong Jeong-ho has said "It is a great honor to be able to join Jeonbuk, the best team in the K League. I will pour everything in to help them win the K League and ACL".

Until the recent appointment of Shin Tae-young, Hong was also a regular member of the national team. The 28 year-old has picked up 42 caps for the senior team and he will be hoping that featuring alongside the likes of national squad members Kim Jin-su, Choi Chul-soon and Kim Min-jae in the Jeonbuk backline should put him in good stead for a recall ahead of the World Cup in Russia.

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