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Transfer Profile: Lee Kwang-seon

After speculation had been floating around recently, Gyeongnam FC officially announced the signing of former Jeju United defender, Lee Kwang-seon. The 29 year old native of Ulsan has previous experience playing in both J League 1 and 2, and spent the past few seasons on the island, while also completing his military service at Sangju Sangmu. KLU's Branko Belan takes a closer look at the new signing for last year's runners-up.
(Image via  www.gyeongnamfc.com

How was he viewed at Jeju United?  What was the perception of him league-wide?

He was a key player for the islanders after returning to the club in early September. His performances were key in Jeju finishing the regular season in the top half of the table. When he first joined the club in 2016, he made 30 appearances that season, and also featured regularly while at Sangju. He is a curiosity of sorts, as he is capable of playing both as an attacker, up top, or as a central defender, so that versatility makes him a valuable piece of his new club.

He is the type of player that can offer a lot to a club. Gyeongnam have been in the market for a defender, in this transfer window, and Lee, who towers at 192 cm, is flexible, moves well, and plays with speed. While he has mostly been utilized as a central defender, during the majority of his career, he has also been known to go up top in search of a goal late in matches to secure points for his team, which he did successfully last season in the Championship Round against Pohang.

What are the strongest aspects of his game?

He is a dual threat both defensively and offensively. He also approaches football with a winning mentality, and the player himself said on his unveiling with his new club that he looks forward to pleasing the Gyeongnam fans at both ends of the pitch. He has a penchant for late match heroics, and that could prove to be vital this season, especially if he has a chance to feature in the Champions League.

Does he have any weaknesses?

He needs to use his height to his advantage more, especially when defending against elite level strikers. He has an excellent physical frame and the hope is that he will get consistent minutes for Gyeongnam this season, which will allow him to establish himself as a presence on the back line. He is a bit too eager to press forward at times, so he needs to focus on his own end of the pitch more.

What were his reasons for leaving?

His contract with Jeju United expired, and both sides decided to part ways. The islanders have already brought in a couple of defenders during the transfer window, who they feel are better suited to their system in Jung Woo-jae (Daegu FC) and Lee Dong-woo (FC Seoul) to complement mainstays Park Jin-po and Aleks Jovanovic. It's a good opportunity for Lee to get more playing time with a club that will be involved in continental football this season.

Where do you think he will be best utilized with Gyeongnam FC?

He should spend the majority of the time helping form a new core on the back line. His sheer size does not lend well to making him an attacking option up front. Gyeongnam have realized that he is a player who can be of good use to the club moving forward this season, and surely the coaching staff will utilize him in the best way possible.

What should K League fans expect from him?

He has been around a few years now, and has shown that he can crack virtually any starting eleven.  His work rate is good, and he has a knack for flair in clutch moments, as his performance against Pohang showed late last season. He'll pop up with  a few goals in the new campaign.

What was his best moment with Jeju United last season?

It was definitely his 82nd minute winner against Pohang, in late October, which kept Jeju in the hunt for the ACL at that point. He showed brute strength to out-muscle a defender and then coolly slotted home from close range with a striker's finish, beating the 'keeper with a low drive.

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