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Transfer Profile: Jung Jo-gook



Jeju United have moved quickly to replenish their roster following the departure of some of their longer tenured players in recent days.  To answer the loss of Magno Cruz to Qatari Stars League club Umm Salal SC, they have brought in Jung Jo-gook from Gangwon FC.  He will be counted on to provide a spark offensively to a side which struggled to score goals last season.  To find out more about what to expect from him, KLU's Branko Belan sat down with the site's former Gangwon columnist Steve Price to learn more.
Image courtesy of Jeju United)


His goal production dipped last season, as he scored only five goals in twenty-six appearances, but it is thought that with Jeju dropping down a division, the 35 year old striker can still be a valuable piece in the islanders' attack in 2020.

He is a versatile attacker in that while he usually plays as an all-out striker, he is also capable of playing on either wing.  Another advantage he has at his disposal is the fact that he has already played for new manager Nam Ki-il previously in his career, so it should not take very long for him to adapt to Jeju's tactical approach in the new campaign.

Steve Price, who currently covers the Korean national team for KLU amongst other writing commitments, also covered Gangwon FC in the past, and offered some of his insights about Jung, and what to expect from him at this stage in his career.

How was he viewed at Gangwon?  League wide?

He joined Gangwon after surprising the K League by winning the golden boot with Gwangju the previous season, but he picked up a bad injury early on at Gangwon (thanks a lot, rock hard ski jump pitch) and never managed the same form as with Gwangju.  He was still good enough to keep Đerić out of the team at times though.  A K League legend, but getting towards the tail end of his career.

What are the strongest aspects of his game?

He’s good at holding the ball up, good in the air, and has the ability to rocket an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Does he have any weaknesses?

He’s too old now for K League 1, which can be seen in his goal stats (almost a goal a game in 2016, and goal every two games in 2017 but now in 2019 roughly a goal every 4 games).  Injuries have taken their toll and he isn’t blessed with pace.

What was his reason for leaving?

Gangwon want to be challenging and to do that they’ll need a younger, fresher forward.  Jung Jo-gook was probably on a decent wage too given that he is a former international and K League Golden Boot winner with experience playing in the French top tier.  His departure will allow Gangwon to strengthen in other areas although they’ve had quite a few departures this winter so they may just be trying to get the wage bill down and let Kim Byung-soo work his magic with a young squad.

Where do you think he will be best utilized with Jeju?

He can still be good as a target man, possibly first choice, possibly on the bench (he was often rotated with Đerić in the 2018 season).  A solid option, but might not be enough as the number one striker if Jeju are serious about promotion.

What should Jeju fans expect from him?


He’s hardworking and seems like a nice guy.  He still has top-class technique and the ability to score a rocket from 20 yards.

What was his best moment with Gangwon?

For that, I would go back to the 2018 season and his injury time winner against Suwon Bluewings in Round 30.  He took a pass from Diego Mauricio and converted the finish with virtually the last kick of the ball.

Jung, who also won the K League MVP playing for Gwangju FC in 2016, commented on his move to the island.

"I would like to relive past glory, and to do that, I chose to come to Jeju.  I am aware of what the manager expects from me.  I will do everything I possibly can to make sure that the team gets promoted back to K League 1 for the 2021 season."

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