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News: Lee Keun-ho Joins Jeju United on Loan from Jeonbuk

Jeju United announced the addition of Lee Keun-ho on loan from Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors for the rest of the season on Thursday afternoon.  The move is an attempt to diversify an attack which has sputtered through the first half of the season.  The islanders have only found the back of the net eighteen times thus far in 2019 after scoring only 42 goals over the course of the last campaign.  The hope is that the 23 year old will get valuable minutes to further his development having only made two appearances as a substitute for the league leaders before his move to the island.  KLU's Branko Belan profiles the young addition to the squad.
(Image via jeju-utd.com)

Lee Keun-ho will play for Jeju United until the end of the 2019 season although the terms of the deal were not disclosed.  He did not receive much opportunity to play at Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors this season, appearing only twice as a substitute in back to back matches against Pohang Steelers and Gyeongnam FC.  He has not been in the squad otherwise, and it is thought that the move will work out well for all parties involved, as Lee will hopefully get meaningful minutes and gain experience as a player during his time with Jeju.

Jeju are in need of goals.  They have struggled in the finishing department up to this point in the season, and because of their poor form, they currently find themselves in last place in K League 1 with the potential threat of relegation looming large.  Not only is he a good addition up front, but the move also has the intention of motivating squad players and developing a more consistent rotation to keep players fresh in hopes of getting better results in the near future.  Jeju will play three of their next four matches at home, and so if they are to begin turning things around where the season is concerned, now would be the time to start doing it.

Lee made his K League debut last season with Pohang Steelers, chalking up 26 total appearances and finishing the season with three goals and four assists, an admirable return.  He is capable of playing all attacking positions, as a winger on either the right or the left, or as a central striker.  His statistical breakdown would suggest that he is best suited up top, which would allow Magno and Tiago a chance to keep themselves fresh through the summer months.

He scored his first goal against Ulsan last May in a 2-1 loss, which was also the first time last season that he played a full ninety minutes.  He also scored against Jeonnam in July and Jeonbuk in August both victories by scores of 3-1 and 5-2, respectively.  Jeonbuk obviously saw something in him that was enough for them to bring him in for the 2019 season, but playing time hasn't materialized for him thanks to the incredible depth possessed by the defending champions.

He was also a member of the U-23 side that took part in the AFC Championship in China last year, where he registered three goals and two assists, including a brace against Australia in Korea's final group stage match.  Korea eventually lost the third place final to Qatar by a score of 1-0.

Other than his pair of league appearances this season, Lee also played in Jeonbuk's fourth round FA Cup match, which they lost 1-0 to FC Anyang.  He also came on as a substitute on Matchday Six in the AFC Champions League against Thai outfit Buriram United and played half an hour.

Choi Yun-kyum is optimistic about what lies ahead.

"Lee Keun-ho has a lot of potential.  He is physically strong and has finishing ability.  I didn't have a chance to see a lot from him while he was at Jeonbuk, but I am sure that he will grow with us and help us to win matches," the manager concluded.

Lee Keun-ho himself is looking forward to the move.

"I feel it is a time for me to help Jeju reverse the results they have had this season, and it is also a good chance for me to do the same," he began.

"When I left Jeonbuk, I assured my teammates that I would grow up while in Jeju.  Although I will only be with the team for a short time, I will try hard to help Jeju achieve their goals through a process of constant learning," he continued.

There were initially some concerns about his fitness, but he is fully prepared to play for Jeju.  Lee had seen video of the team before making the switch and wasn't sure at first how he would be able to get into the team, but vows to hit the ground running.

Asked if he had any special message for the fans, he concluded with the following:

"Lee Keun-ho, (who now once again plays for Ulsan Hyundai) was a great figure when he played for Jeju.  Even though I am only here on loan, I will always make my best effort until the end of every match so that I too can earn appreciation from the fans."

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