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Transfer Talk: Suwon Bluewings

Selling the 2017 Golden Boot winner Jonathan seemed like it would be the most surprising move of Suwon's transfer window. Then they brought in FC Seoul legend Dejan Damjanović as a replacement. And there's still plenty of time for them to make additional moves as they continue to build a team for K League and AFC Champions League in 2018. 

How active do you think your team will be in the winter window?

Even though it is only early January, Suwon already have much of their transfer business concluded and they have been in a rush to add 5 new faces to their squad. They have wisely added a new left sided defender to their squad in the form of Park Hyung-jin and have also moved to strengthen in the right wing-back area with the promising signing of Brazilian defender Cristovam from Serie B side, Parana. The club also quickly moved to replace record goalscorer Santos with another Brazilian, Waguininho. The winger moves to Suwon off the back of two solid seasons at Bucheon FC where he scored 18 goals over two years.

January has also seen the addition of Lim Sang-hyub. The winger arrives from Busan but could be an ideal partner for the new addition that has come at the top of the pitch. And that blockbuster signing for Suwon has come in the form of Seoul legend, Dejan Damjanovic. After not being handed a new contract by Seoul the Montenegrin has opted to prolong his spell in Korea by joining Suwon in what is perhaps the biggest and most controversial transfer in Korean football history.

What’s your team’s biggest area of need? Who are some potential targets you’d like to see fill those holes?

Towards the end of last season it was noticeable that Suwon needed reinforcements in wide areas and they have already moved to rectify that. They have also replaced the hole in the squad left by Johnathan, whose move to the Chinese Super League has almost been completed. However, although the squad has an abundance of central players, Suwon are still in need of some more creative players that can either play in the centre of midfield or just behind the striker.

Pohang's Son Jun-ho has been of interest to Suwon and they have reportedly agreed a fee with Pohang for the player. However, last year's assist leader in the Classic is also in contract talks with Jeonbuk and it is looking unlikely that Suwon will secure the services of the creative midfielder.

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

With Suwon aiming to cut their operating budget over the coming seasons it is their ambition to blood more younger players in the coming seasons. As such, this season may be an ideal time to send some of those youngsters out on loan either to smaller Classic clubs or Challenge clubs with ambitions of promotion.

One of the more promising young players at the club that could do with more game time to develop his skills is Yoon Yong-ho. The 21 year old midfielder only saw 145 minutes of game time last season but those minutes were enough to suggest that he has a big career in the game. An attacking midfielder by trade, Yoon is comfortable with the ball at his feet and already has a good array of passing skills. His confidence on the ball is unique for someone so young and his goal on his debut (against Jeonnam) was a clear demonstration of the danger he can pose to his opposition.

Who’s an “ideal” signing that would do well in the K-League?

With Johnathan's transfer to China almost complete the league is currently lacking any big names and other than a handful of Jeonbuk players it would be difficult to find anyone with name recognition among the Korean public. The league is in desperate need of special attacking players to create headlines and provide the entertainment that Koreaan football fans desire.

But with most clubs not spending as much money as they did in the past it is very difficult to bring in marque signings. Therefore, it may be wise for clubs to try and target players who have played in the Kleague in the past, and then moved abroad and failed. One player that may fit this criteria is Tiago Alves, formerly of Pohang and Seongnam.

During his time at Seongnam, the Brazilian was a class apart from anybody else in the league and (quite miraculously) his performances were dragging an average Seongnam team towards challenging for the championship before his controversial transfer to Al-Hilal FC in 2016. He hasn't quite lived up to that standard since his move to Saudi Arabia but there is no doubt that he has the talent to become the marquee name that Kleague desperately needs. He has been linked in the press with a transfer to Jeonbuk and a return for the Brazilian to Korean shores would be welcomed by every fan of the Kleague.

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