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Transfer Profile: Lee Jinhyun

Pohang Steelers started their all-important summer business by bringing back one of Korea's most exciting midfield talents, Lee Jin-hyun. The left-footed 2018 Asian Games squad member spent a season on loan at Austria Wien in the Austrian Bundesliga. K League United spoke to FootballRadar's Tim Armitage to get the inside scoop on how he got on in Austria and what K League fans can expect.

How was he viewed at Austria Wien? League wide?

Lee was originally brought in as a 'perspective player', so it was a little bit of a surprise when he almost immediately had an impact on Austria Vienna matchday squads. For me this was a clear sign that the club appreciated that he is a talented player and it was probably Austria Vienna's poor season that curtailed his chances across the course of the season. There were suggestions that he was a little light-weight and he wasn't the type of player they needed when it came to trying to pull their way back into European qualification contention.

From a league point of view, it did seem a little strange for Austria Vienna to look towards such an unknown foreign option when they signed him (there is a loose foreign quota within the league to consider)  and again this seemed to work against him later on in the season too.

He mostly played in CM but also appeared on the left and AM, which position do you think suited him best?

Austria's central midfield was dominated by Raphael Holzhauser and Tarkan Serbest last season, so it was always going to be tough for him to see much game time in CM. As a result, they did look to try and use him on both flanks and further forward, but often he didn't have much of an effect on the game in those areas. I personally believe his best role is as a central midfielder albeit one that looks to advance play.

Do you think scoring on his debut was his best moment for Austria Wien?

Almost certainly. His performance against Admira blew myself and many others away. Unfortunately, he was never quite able to replicate that performance, and not every team was as poor defensively as Admira were that day!

At 20 years old, he is still at the beginning of his career. Could you see him returning to the Austrian Bundesliga one day?

Never say never. Honestly, I don't know, but it would be nice to see him come back with a bit more experience and more to offer a top club in Austria.

What can K League fans expect from him?

K League fans can expect a technically-sound young midfielder who wants to create chances and take the game to the opposition. He's not particularly quick nor the strongest guy, but he has time on his hands and will hopefully continue to improve over the course of this season.

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