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News: Gu Sungyun Signs for Daegu FC

While there is still a month to go before the opening of the K League summer transfer window, Daegu FC surprisingly announced the signing of former Consadole Sapporo goalkeeper Gu Sungyun.
(image via Daegu FC)

The announcement came out of blue a few hours before Daegu FC's home game against Sangju Sangmu on Friday 29th May.

Following Korean international goalkeeper Jo Hyeonwoo's departure from the Metropolitan city, the Citizen club said that they would carry out the season with full faith in existing shot-stoppers Choi Youngeun and Lee Junhee.

However, with only three rounds of K League played, the Sky Blues became the first K League team to bolster their squad by signing the Korea National Team's third choice.

With this transfer, interestingly all three Korea National Team goalkeepers moved to other teams in succession; first choice Kim Seungkyu signed for J League's Kashiwa Reysol, with his place in Ulsan taken by the transfer of former Daegu guardian Jo Hyeonwoo ahead of 2020 season.

It is understood that Daegu FC had kept their eyes on Gu Sungyun for a long time. There was an unnamed K League team, reportedly Busan IPark that also had interests, but it was the Sky Blues that convinced the shot-stopper to switch.

Gu Sungyun speaks during the club interview.

"There was constant interest from Daegu FC last winter when I started to consider coming back to Korea for the military service and I think Cho Kwangrae [the club President] valued me. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't great back then as I had a full year contract left with the Japanese side ahead of a new season.

On his return to Korea, the former Consadole man couldn't hide his excitement.

"I played in Japan for a long while. I am really excited to be part of Daegu FC with Daepak [Nickname for Daegu home stadium] filled up with electric atmosphere. Even though I haven't trained yet with the team, I really want to join them as soon as possible."

He also adds more.

"I came to Daegu with a rookie's mindset and attitude as I am new to K League, and really want to repay fans with good results."

However, apart from being the third option for Paulo Bento's national team where he has earned two caps in a Korean shirt, the new summer signing is rarely known by many Korean fans because he has only played in Japan with Cerezo Osaka and Consadole Sapporo since 2013. For the last seven years, he played 173 games including five domestic cup appearances in all competitions with Consadole Sapporo after a disappointing two-year spell in Osaka. Former club Consadole Sapporo posted a farewell video of Gu Sungyun on social media, thanking him for his efforts and commitments.

On his strengths, the 197cm-tall keeper humbly singles out "tall height, shot-stopping ability and aerial commands on set play" among the many skills he has.

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Meanwhile, there was a worrying moment this January when Gu drew sizable attention and concern from many Korean fans. Several presses reported that he was receiving treatment after being diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.

On his health and fitness, the Pohang born-player said,

"I am well recovered now and physically okay. I felt lonely, living in Japan on my own, but it's really great to be back in Korea."

Finally, he proudly reveals his ambition with the Citizen club.

"I think Daegu have the potential to develop further. I will do my best and have faith in myself. I think for the standard of Daegu, we ultimately need to move forward to be one of the top teams, challenging for the title beyond a top-six and ACL place."

Despite the early announcement made by the club, the ambitious shot-stopper has to wait until 25th June to be able to play for Daegu FC when the K League summer transfer window officially opens. Reportedly, Gu Sungyun will join the team training on 1st June. His shirt number is 52.

While the details on the contract are not officially revealed, however, it is believed to be a free transfer with a six-month contract. Also, Daegu FC will have a priority right for negotiation once the goalkeeper completes his military duty. The shot-stopper hopes to start his 18-month long service at the end of this season.

Club Official Interview


Daegu FC correspondent Muyeol Jung

It looks like a win-win situation for both parties; Daegu FC were in need of an excellent goalkeeper similar to Jo Hyeonwoo for a higher place in the table, while Gu Sungyun needed a stepping stone in the K League to be able to qualify for Sangju Sangmu. Generally, Daegu fans appear to be pleased with the signing, especially as Daegu FC haven't lived up to their expectations so far.

There's no doubt on his ability and quality. However, this signing might cause disruption among the squad as it looks a bit harsh on the existing goalkeepers. The existing shot stoppers, particularly Choi Youngeun would have felt stabbed in the back and emotionally deserted. Also, the addition of Gu Sungyun means that Daegu FC have now ended up having five goalkeepers in the squad.

On the bright side of this transfer, the presence of such an excellent shot-stopper between the sticks will offer more stability at the back, enhancing the performance. Also, it will act as a means of motivation for young goalkeepers to emulate him in a more competitive setting.

It is inevitable in professions that footballers face competition and there's no doubt that it will lead them to the next level in their career. There's still a month left for Choi or other existing goalkeepers to impress the manager until the new signing Gu is eligible to play for Daegu. I hope this will add to healthy tension among them.

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