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News: Eder Lima Leaves Jeju United


Brazilian-born striker Eder Lima, who came to Jeju United in the winter transfer window, has left the club to join newly-promoted China League One side Jiangxi Liansheng, the club confirmed last week.  Entering the season, there were concerns over his fitness, and he only appeared for the islanders on four occasions, scoring one goal.  KLU's Branko Belan looks at the player and what is next for him.


There were high hopes when Eder came to Jeju in the off-season, as the club was looking to build a contender for promotion following their relegation from K League 1 last season.  Eder was considered to be a big part of the project in the beginning, but fitness concerns kept him out of most of the team's matches at the start of the season, resulting in his playing time being dwindled early on as other players began to emerge for the team.

In all, he only managed four appearances for the islanders, scoring one goal, but a beauty it was, in a 4-0 victory over Bucheon FC 1995, a chipped effort which seemingly floated into the back of the net - an example of his quality which he, unfortunately, did not have many chances to display thus far in 2020.  The hope is that a move and a change of scenery will help to revitalize his career.

A Brief Look at his Time in Korea

Eder debuted in the K League back in 2015 in K League 2 with Daegu FC and was key to their promotion to the top division for the 2016 season.  He did very well with the Sky Blues over those two seasons, prompting a move to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, where things did not quite work out so well.

He then moved to SFC Seongnam, where he remained for two seasons under Nam Ki-il, and was again a reason for the Magpies promotion back to the top flight last year.  However, after a solid campaign in his first season with the club, his numbers tapered off a bit last season, but the manager felt he had done enough to warrant bringing him to the island in the winter transfer window for this season.  He featured in the team's second match of the year against Jeonnam Dragons, a 1-0 loss where he played 76 minutes on the left wing, but was used only sparingly afterward as Nam has had a tendency to stick with his Korean players in the selection of his starting eleven for much of the season.  Counter this with the emergence of players such as Gong Min-hyun, who is having a career year, and it is not difficult to see why it was hard for the Brazilian to win playing time with the squad in 2020.

In the end, both sides agreed to terminate the contract on mutual terms, and the transfer was made, although the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Eder expressed his commiserations about not being able to help the club more but vowed to support Jeju as they push for automatic promotion.

"I'm sorry for not being able to help the team more.  But, Jeju as a group is one.  I will continue to support them for promotion to the first division.  I want to express my gratitude to coach Nam Ki-il for believing in me," he said.

The club also thanked the player, hoping for his future success.

"He was only with us a short time, but we hope his future will be full of happiness and we are grateful for the sincerity he showed while with us," according to a club statement.

A New Destination, A New Beginning

Eder will be counted on to provide goals for his new club, who are in the midst of a relegation battle.  They have only scored five goals in nine matches in the competition's second phase and have not had a goal scored by a striker as of yet.  The pressure may be great, but Eder is the type of player who can still rise to the occasion.  Chinese sports media outlet Titan Sports Plus announced the transfer last Thursday on its social media platforms.


His experience will be key to Jiangxi's hopes of staying up.  They have one match left against GZ Hengfeng before the relegation round kicks off.  It has been a difficult season for them in their first season in China's second tier, but the hope is that the arrival of Eder will aid in turning things in their favor.  For the player, it is a new chance for his to showcase what he can do on the pitch, and there is little doubt that he will make the most of the opportunity.

Eder will look to get off to a flying start with his new club.  Graphic courtesy of MR.


K League United would like to extend a special thank you to Eder's agent Rodrigo Mello of S2 Management for contributing to this report.  






 

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