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Bucheon FC 1995 January Arrivals 2020

To counteract against multiple departures, Bucheon have signed over a dozen players so far in the winter transfer window. Primarily focusing on attackers and defenders, Bucheon have signed a large range of both experienced and youth players. Our Bucheon columnist George Slade looks at all the players that have joined and re-signed for Bucheon in January. 

For the First Team

Suh Myeong-won, William Barbio, Yoon Shin-young, Lee Tae-ho, Kim Young-chan, Kwak Hae-seong. Bucheon have made permanent signings at both ends of the pitch. Their first major signing of the transfer window was 24 year-old attacker Suh Myeong-won, who joined from Gangwon FC. Suh was a regular for Daejeon Citizen in 2014-15, but has seen his appearances dwindle since 2016 while at K League 1 clubs Ulsan Hyundai and Gangwon. Blessed with good speed and ball control, he works best as a second striker or on the outside of a front three.

Joining Suh upfront is now Bucheon's only foreign player, 27 year-old Brazilian winger William Barbio from AD Confiança of Brazil's third tier. Although this is his first stint abroad, Barbio has had a nomadic career in his homeland including spells at well-established sides Vasco da Gama, Bahia, Chapecoense and América Mineiro, and appearances in the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana. While he is not the most prolific goalscorer, Barbio is excellent at dribbling and finishing in the penalty area, and could be part of a dangerous attacking unit if he works well with Bucheon's other forwards.

Bucheon have signed several defenders, as that is the department that has been most severely hit by departures in this transfer window. The most experienced of which is 32 year-old Yoon Shin-young, who has joined from Daejeon Hana Citizen. Yoon is more of classic tackling centre-half rather than a modern style ball carrier with experience in K League 1, Chinese Super League and J2 League and is expected to lead the defensive line for Bucheon this season. Joining him will be 28 year-old Lee Tae-ho from Gangwon, who spent the second-half of last season on loan to Seoul E-Land. Lee has spent the majority of his career in J2 League and did not make much of an impact when stepping-up to K League 1. However, he was one of Seoul E-Land's very few positives in defence last season, meaning that he should perform well for Bucheon at this level.

Another signing that has performed better at K League 2 level rather than K League 1 is 26 year-old centre-back Kim Young-chan, who has transferred from Jeonbuk Motors. Despite first joining Jeonbuk in 2013, Kim did not make a lasting impression and he has spent the last two seasons on loan, at FC Anyang in 2018 and Suwon FC in 2019. In addition to his preferred position Kim can also play at left-back, which contributed to his greater amount of appearances at Anyang compared to Suwon. His main strengths are ball control and marking, and should be able to bring a lot of stability to the Bucheon defence.

In terms of specialist full-backs Bucheon have signed 28 year-old Kwak Hae-sung from Incheon United. He is arguably Bucheon's most successful signing, having spent the majority of his career in K League 1 at Seongnam, Jeju United and Incheon. He also tasted silverware early on his career in 2014, when he won the FA Cup with Seongnam and an Asian Games gold medal with South Korea U23, making him exempt from national service. Kwak is talented at crossing and passing, making him an asset in both attack and defence.

Young Signings

Kim Kang-san, Jung Ho-geun, Kim Ho-Jun. Several of Bucheon's permanent signings are young players, who will no doubt be looking to impress at Bucheon in the same way Kim Jae-woo did in 2019. Bucheon will be wanting the same, though they will hope that unlike Kim they will not depart the club as soon as he did.

The first signings for Bucheon were announced at the end of December and consisted of two university players. 21 year-old Kim Kang-san is a midfielder that has arrived from Daegu University. In 2017 he was selected as the second best player in the U-league, and in 2019 was selected for the South Korea Universities B team. Standing at 184 cm, he is not exceptionally tall but has a lot of talent in the air. He is joined by 20 year-old defender Jung Ho-geun, who previously played for Andong Science University. His strengths are his speed and build-up play from the back, and he has set a personal target of playing in 10 matches for the senior side in 2020.

One permanent young player signing already has some senior football experience. 23 year-old defender Kim Ho-Jun has been signed from Seoul E-Land, after only making one appearance in 2019. Prior to this he played for Incheon University and contributed to their strong performances in regional and national championships in 2018. He is a strong marker and has excellent tackling ability.

[READ: Bucheon FC 1995 January Departures]

On Loan

Koo Bon-chul, Ju Jong-Dae, Choi Bong-jin, Lee Hyun-il. Bucheon have also brought in additional young signings on loan, both of them from Incheon United. Koo Bon-chul is a new signing of Incheon and has been immediately loaned to Bucheon for experience. The 20 year-old previously played for Dankook University and is a midfielder who likes to play aggressively and take part in counter-attacks with quick transitions. 24 year-old defender Ju Jong-dae has already taken part in one professional season for Incheon, having played two matches in 2019. He is a full-back who is comfortable in both defence and attack, and his speed and crossing ability mean that he is capable of being played as a winger.

Other loan signings have more experience. 27 year-old goalkeeper Choi Bong-jin has been signed for this season from Gwangju FC, who he has played for since 2015 with the exception of his 2018-19 national service at Asan Mugunghwa. During 2015-17 Choi was used in rotation for the number one spot and played a total of 40 appearances during this period. At Asan he played a total of 16 matches and upon his return to eventual K League 2 champions Gwangju last summer he only played twice. He has been signed due to Bucheon's first-choice goalkeeper Choi Chul-won leaving for his national service at Sangju Sangmu. Current reserve goalkeeper Lee Young-chan is talented but has never experienced regular play at Bucheon, so Choi Bong-jin will provide competition and a potentially more consistent option.

Bucheon have brought in one forward on loan, in the form of 25 year-old Seongnam FC attacker Lee Hyun-il. Lee has spent his entire professional career at Seongnam, having joined them in 2017, though he has never secured himself a regular place in the starting lineup. 2019 was his first season in K League 1 and he only managed seven appearances, failing to score once. However, he did perform better in K League 2, playing in a combined 28 matches in 2017 and 2018 and scoring a total of seven goals. Now playing at his preferred level at a team that have lost a lot of their main attacking options, Lee could be well-placed to achieve his best ever season as a footballer, especially if he can gel with Suh Myeong-won and William Barbio.

Contract Renewals

Guk Tae-jung, Lee Young-Chan, Jang Hyun-soo, Cho Beom-seok. Alongside all of Bucheon's new arrivals, several current players have committed their future to the club after signing new contracts. 24 year-old defender Guk Tae-jong has become a permanent Bucheon player after joining last season on loan from Pohang Steelers. Guk turned professional in 2017 with Jeonbuk Motors, then joined Pohang after a season, but he hadn't made a single first-team appearance until his loan spell at Bucheon. He would go on to play 17 matches and score once in 2019, and impressed enough to be the only loan signing from last year to be given a permanent contract at Bucheon.

Goalkeepers typically achieve their breakthroughs a bit later than outfield players, and Bucheon's Lee Young-chan will be hoping that 2020 will be his year. After making 10 appearances in his only year at Daejeon Citizen in 2017, 26 year-old Lee joined Bucheon in 2018 and has been the main back-up choice after Choi Chul-won. Choi has now joined Sangju Sangmu for his national service, so Lee has a fantastic opportunity to add to his total of six matches played for Bucheon. Lee clearly has talent, as in one of his only two appearances last year he was named in the K League 2 Team of the Week. If he is chosen ahead of new loan signing Choi Bong-jin, then Choi Chul-won could be facing stiff competition when he returns from Sangju.

Midfielder Jang Hyun-soo was signed on a one year contract in 2019 after spending 2018 without a club, but a career best season has seen his stay at Bucheon extended. 27 year-old Jang played 25 times last year and scored once. His previous best season was in 2016, when he made 13 appearances for Busan IPark. With the large number of first-team departures that Bucheon have experienced, Jang will hope that he can become a permanent face in the starting 11.

After a career that has featured many ups-and-downs, 30 year-old midfielder Cho Beom-seok seems to have found his home at Bucheon. Playing only three times for Incheon United in his debut professional season in 2011, Cho dropped down to Mokpo City in the National League for four seasons. He was signed by Bucheon in 2016 and immediately became a first-team regular. National service came calling and times became hard again, as he played a total of only 25 appearances for Asan Mugunghwa across the 2018-19 seasons. He returned to Bucheon in the summer of 2019 and immediately resumed his status as one of Bucheon's stand out performers. Upon the departure of Lim Dong-hyuk to Jeju United this January, Cho has been named as Bucheon's vice-captain for the upcoming season as a reward for his efforts. 

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