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Opinion: Why Seoul E-Land Should Bring Back Leandro

The 2023 season has concluded, marking the end of another year for the K League. Following an exhilarating competition, attention now shifts to the drama unfolding in the winter transfer window.

Each year, teams strive to enhance their squads in pursuit of glory. Some players seek new challenges by moving to different squads or clubs, while others fulfill their dream transfers to top-tier clubs. However, there are instances where players make triumphant returns to the teams where their journeys began.

This recurring theme sparks discussions and opinions about players returning to their first K League clubs for one last performance. Michael Redmond examines a specific player today: Leandro, and why Seoul E-Land should contemplate bringing him back to the capital.


The Early Years

Leandro made his K League debut in the 2020 season for Seoul E-Land. Initially joining on loan, his impressive football style earned him a three-year contract by the summer. Despite an explosive 2020, Seoul fell short of a playoff spot on the last game of the season. This spurred Leandro's desire for promotion in Korea. He spent another season at Seoul before moving to Daejeon Hana Citizen for the 2022 season.

Vital to Daejeon's promotion to K League 1, Leandro contributed to their 8th-place finish in 2023 and survival. With 61 league appearances for Seoul E-Land and 57 for Daejeon, Leandro showcased versatility as both a starter and impact substitute.

Considering his experience, why should Leandro spend his fifth season at Mokdong?


Bursting onto the Scene

Leandro's K League debut in May 2020 against Jeju United signaled Seoul's serious intent for the year. His speed and flair disrupted defenses, often resulting in one-on-one situations with the goalkeeper. Unlike previous Seoul strikers, Leandro's ability to carry the ball and create goal-scoring opportunities stood out. His movements created space for teammates, and his defensive contributions were noteworthy.

These days Seoul lacks a confident runner capable of initiating counter-attacks. Leandro could inject the much-needed confidence that has been absent for years.

An E-Land Cult Figure

Leandro holds a special place in the hearts of Seoul E-Land fans, earning the esteemed title of their favorite foreign player. His on-field triumphs, including the remarkable debut against Jeju and the pivotal winning goal in the 2021 FA Cup Seoul derby, have not only secured victories but have become iconic moments synonymous with pride and passion for the devoted fanbase.

Beyond the confines of the pitch, Leandro's off-field connection with fans has elevated him to the status of a cult figure. Engaging in genuine interactions, whether through communication, photo sessions, or autograph signings, he has fostered a profound bond with supporters. This level of engagement extends his influence well beyond the game, solidifying his place as more than just a player but a cherished personality for Seoul E-Land enthusiasts. 

 Even in his absence, the resonance of Leandro's impact persists. Fans continue to chant his name, keeping the memory alive. The prospect of Leandro's return, coupled with the nostalgia of his notable moments, fuels anticipation among supporters.


Unfinished Business

Leandro's story unfolds with a sense of unfinished business. While he played a pivotal role in Daejeon's promotion in 2022, the same achievement eluded him with Seoul. The arrival of a new manager, Kim Do-kyun, a manager who promoted Suwon FC in the past rekindles hope for success in the capital. Leandro, having been on the cusp of glory in the past, harbors the idea that he has an unfinished job with Seoul.


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You Just Never Know...

My opinion piece only suggests the idea for Seoul to re-sign Leandro, presenting him as an invaluable asset. As an experienced K League player deeply connected to both the team and the capital, Leandro has the potential to reignite a nostalgic spark, providing solace to fans after a challenging 2023 season. Instead of venturing into the uncertainties associated with unknown foreign players, the article contends that bringing back a familiar face like Leandro could rejuvenate the squad.

In the midst of uncertainties, the prospect of 'Leandro 70' jerseys dominating Mokdong during the opening game of the 2024 K League season becomes a symbol of hope—a sight that would undoubtedly be warmly welcomed by the fanbase.


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