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Transfer: KNT defender Hong Chul joins Ulsan Hyundai

Ulsan Hyundai have strengthened their already formidable defence by signing 29-year-old full back Hong Chul from K League 1 rivals Suwon Samsung Bluewings.

Ulsan manager Kim Do-hoon has been chasing Hong for several years, and has finally got his man on Wednesday, as Suwon decided to cash in the player before his deal expires at the end of the season.

Kim has apparently been looking to add improved pace and crossing on the left flank to complement Kim Tae-hwan on the right, and he may just have found that in Hong, who was part of the league's Best XI awards last season.
Hong Chul (R) receiving his 2019 Best XI award, along with new teammate Kim Tae-hwan (tan suit)
Hong spent seven seasons at the Big Bird, sandwiched either side of his military service in Sangju. He won two FA Cups in that time, and was part of the Bluewings team that finished K League runners-up in 2014 and 2015.

The Seongnam native also has an Asian Champions League winners medal to his name from his early days with his hometown club, and has represented Korea thirty times, including at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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Hong's move has raised eyebrows though, as the Horangi already have several options on the left side of defence: Australian international Jason Davidson joined the club last year from Perth Glory, but has seen his first team chances limited by the rise this year of U-22 starlet Seol Young-woo.  Davidson will be the most affected by the arrival of Hong and may be moved on quickly to free up the AFC player slot.

Hong competes with Ulsan's Junior Negrao while playing for Sangju Sangmu in 2018
Fellow Korean national team full back, Park Joo-ho, who was picked ahead of Hong Chul in the opening match of the 2018 World Cup, is also at Ulsan, but the 33-year-old has been considered a squad player at Munsu for the last few campaigns.

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