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Transfer Profile: Lim Dong-hyuk



Jeju United struggled badly on the defensive side of the ball last season, and it is one of the main reasons why they finished the season by getting relegated for the first time in team history.  However, with a new manager in charge, there is hope that things can be turned around, and that promotion can be considered a possibility.  To address their defensive woes, they went into the transfer market and picked up Lim Dong-hyuk from Bucheon 1995 FC.  KLU's Branko Belan spoke with Bucheon columnist George Slade to see how the new addition will be able to help the islanders in the new year.
(Image courtesy of Jeju United)

Lim Dong-hyuk has had three very good seasons in succession at Bucheon and could well be an important factor in the center of Jeju's defence for the 2020 campaign.  At 190 centimeters and 86 kilograms, he has an impressive physical stature, and the experience of having already played against the same competition last season, he should not have too many difficulties adjusting to his new club as he is mostly a stay at home defender.  He enters 2020 coming off consecutive seasons in which he was nominated in the Best Defender category for the K League 2 Best Eleven.

George Slade had a chance to keep a close eye on Lim last season, and shared his insights accordingly.

How was he viewed at Bucheon? League wide?

Bucheon is the only club that Lim has played for professionally, having joined them in 2016.  After only playing eight matches in his first year, he went on to record over 30 appearances in each of the following three seasons.  The fact that he achieved over 100 K League 2 appearances solely for Bucheon made him a popular figure at the club, which was amplified by his reliable performances on a regular basis.  He had his suitors throughout his time at Bucheon and was sought after on several occasions.

What are the strongest aspects of his game?

Lim is a player that gives a team confidence in defence.  He might not be overly flashy or extremely versatile, but he gets his job done effectively.  He is big, strong, and can handle any of the league's best attackers.

Does he have any weaknesses?

He is not the most tactically flexible player, and he works best in a four man defence.  This saw him being left of the starting eleven towards the end of the season, with Park Gun, Nilson Junior, and Kim Jae-woo (now at Daegu FC) chosen ahead of him for most of Bucheon's end of season winning run.

What was his reason for leaving?

Being used mostly as a substitute towards the end of the season may have rubbed him the wrong way, despite the fact that Kim Jae-woo leaving would have opened up a spot in the starting eleven.  There is also a good chance he made the choice for his career, as Jeju are arguably stronger favorites to get promoted this season.  The change of scenery could also be a motivator, as Bucheon is all he has known until now.

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

As previously stated, he will fit well in a four man defence.  Jeju will be stronger on paper than a lot of their K League 2 opponents, but they need to take a safety first approach as the transition to a lower league can be difficult (Jeonnam Dragons and Daejeon Citizen can attest to this).  The 2019 season showed that Jeju need to improve their defence, so if they want to utilise Lim correctly then he will fit well into a more traditional defensive set-up.

What should Jeju fans expect from him?

They should expect a hard worker who is largely resistant to injury and does not make too many mistakes.  He is coming close to the peak of his abilities but does have room to grow over the next couple of years.  He has already shown willingness to stay at a club for multiple seasons, so if he fits in well at Jeju and they progress as a team then he could well be a United player for many years to come.

Best moment with Bucheon?


In September he celebrated his 100th K League match with Bucheon and a special ceremony was held in his honor at half-time.  While he may be viewed in a bit of a negative light by certain sections of the Bucheon fan base, I'm sure Lim will always remember that moment if being singled out for his years of service.  I can't imagine this was an easy decision for him to make and he would have made the move for the benefit of his career, rather than out of having any bad feelings with the fans during his time there.

Despite Jeju's difficulties last season, Lim is looking forward to a new challenge.

"Although last year was poor, Jeju still had a strong team. I will be active on the pitch and will advise the other players about our opponents as I played the K League 2 teams last season. I will do my best so that the goal of promotion is achieved," he said.

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