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Transfers: Five Players Who Would Improve Daejeon Citizen

Transfers: Daejeon Citizen
Daejeon Citizen find themselves sitting second bottom of the K League 2 table, far of the playoff pace with last year's Promotion Playoff Final appearance just as distant of memory. Ko Jongsoo, who guided the Purples to the playoffs just last season, was dismissed allowing Park Chul to take over as caretaker before Lee Heungsil was given the job on a permanent basis. The former Ansan Mugunghwa manager will have his work cut out for him, particularly in the transfer market with the citizen club working on a shoestring budget. Daejeon Citizen columnist Paul Neat proposes five realistic targets who could improve this Citizen squad.

"We need someone who can score goals, a player who can finish. We need a centre back as well as a defensive midfielder, those are some positions which I feel we can strengthen but a striker is what's the most urgent, I feel. I will be speaking to the club about this in due course," Lee Heungsil, Daejeon Citizen manager speaking on 2nd July 2019 following his appointment as new Purples boss 24 hours prior.

Full Article: here

Playoff Hangover

Daejeon Citizen surpassed many people's expectations last season by reaching the playoffs. Just 12 months prior, the Club's 20th anniversary year, and the Purples had finished bottom of K League 2. An unbeaten run throughout August, September and into October laid the foundations before eventually coming up short to Busan IPark in the Promotion Final last December. It seems, then, that Daejeon have been suffering from something of a playoff hangover ever since.

Since that 3-0 defeat at the Gudeok, Daejeon have won just three games. The team got off to a good start, beating Ansan Greeners and Jeonnam Dragons in rounds one and two, before a 0-0 draw at home to E-Land before the first international break of 2019. However, Daejeon were then dumped out of the FA Cup by a university side and have picked up just six points from a possible 42, scoring a mere seven goals in the process.

A number of important players left, such as centre backs Ko Myeongseok and Yun Junsung who joined Suwon Bluewings and Suwon FC respectively, and of course Hwang Inbeom to Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS. None of these players were suitably replaced and so what the Purple Arena faithful have seen thus far in 2019 is a team lacking in creativity and leadership. Below is a list of realistic, attainable targets who could improve Daejeon Citizen's fortunes.

Jean-Claude Bozga - HB Køge

Romanian centre back Jean-Claude Bozga played for Daejeon Citizen in 2016 under Choi Moonsik. The Purples had an underwhelming season considering the level of talent that was on offer, Bozga included. However, the Congo-born Romanian was a calming presence at the back and was more than comfortable with the ball at his feet. Coach Choi departed Purple Arena and, with the arrival of Lee Youngik, there was some confusion as to whether Bozga would be offered an extension to his one-year deal. In the end, Bozga was allowed to leave and joined Danish SuperLiga side HB Køge where he has been ever since.

It is believed that Bozga would welcome a return to K League and indeed to Purple Arena and so, given that Daejeon’s defensive frailties have been all-too apparent this term, and one vacant foreigner spot still remaining, the 34 year-old would slot right in at the heart of Daejeon’s back four.

Song Jinhyung - FC Seoul

Amongst the current Daejeon Citizen squad only club captain Ahn Sanghyeon as well as Park Suchang are recognised as experienced midfielders. Furthermore, Shin Hakyoung, the 24 year-old former Gyeongnam man, has suffered with injuries of late. Daejeon have struggled to see games out or make possession count, adding an experienced and intelligent midfielder to their ranks would make perfect sense. Song Jinhyung returned to FC Seoul in 2017 but has been limited to just six appearances from a mere three starts last season. In fact, since departing Jeju United in 2016, Song has struggled for first team football, primarily due to injury.

A chance to prove himself again on loan in the second tier could suit both the player himself as well as FC Seoul who aren’t exactly short of options in the centre of midfield, especially given that Ju Sejong and Lee Myeongju are due to return later this year. Should Song get enough game time then it could put him back in contention for a place in Choi Yongsoo’s squad at Sangam or in the shop window for a move elsewhere.

Seo Myeongwon - Gangwon FC

Seo Myeongwon came through the ranks at Purple Arena before making his first team debut during Daejeon’s 2014 promotion winning season. That year Seo made 26 appearances and scored four goals before bagging five in 24 appearances in the then K League Classic. Such form, and Daejeon’s relegation, prompted a move to Ulsan Hyundai. However, game time at the Munsu was hard to come by, making just one start in 10 league appearances in 2016. The following year, Seo’s only appearance for the Horangi was in the 3-2 away win over Brisbane Roar in the AFC Champions League.

Last year the 24 year-old moved to Gangwon but, once again, found game time at a premium, as has been the case this term bar the odd appearance here and there. At 24 year- old Seo is approaching a pivotal point in his career, a career that was once very promising and enough to earn him a place in various Korea youth squads. At Gangwon, with the emergence of Kim Jihyun, Seo has fallen down the pecking order and is in desperate need of regular playing time. A loan move back to Purple Arena could be enough to kickstart his career once again.

Yoon Seungwon - FC Seoul

Yoon Seungwon was perhaps once seen as one of the hottest prospects coming through the ranks in K League 1 a few years ago. Yoon was a regular for Korea youth teams and broke into the first team at FC Seoul in 2016, rising to prominence by scoring the goal that sent the 2016 Super Match FA Cup Final into extra time with a dramatic late equaliser. The following year Yoon featured 17 times for FC Seoul, scoring three goals including the opener in a 2-1 win over eventual Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors that July.

In 2018 the 24 year-old featured just 10 times, only two of those appearances were from the start, and has been turning turning out for Seoul’s reserves this term. It is said that Yoon has bags of talent, is both footed and is strong in the air but the problem lies with his application. A loan move to a K League 2 club like Daejeon could be seen as a wake-up call that's needed. Plus, playing first team football rather than turning out for the reserves will better for his development.

Kim Dongchan - Suwon FC

It would be fair to say that Kim Dongchan’s career has stagnated a touch since the former Jeonbuk striker departed Purple Arena in 2016. Despite being crowned as the K League Challenge MVP after bagging 20 goals, Daejeon failed to reach the playoffs and a move to Thailand followed for Kim before returning to K League with Seongnam and later Suwon FC. Injuries have blighted Kim’s time with Suwon FC and is firmly behind An Byongjun, Henri Anier, and Chisom Agbuchulam and so has had to make do with reserve team football.

The experienced striker has made just a handful of appearances in the first team, largely having to settle for reserve team football. During his time at Purple Arena, Kim showed excellent movement and a real eye for goal - traits which new manager Lee Heungsil could find of use at Daejeon from now until the end of the season.

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