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Bucheon FC 1995 January Departures

A total of 20 players have left Bucheon FC 1995 so far in this transfer window. Ranging from youth players to club heroes, and everyone in between, our Bucheon columnist George Slade profiles each player that has left the squad this winter.

Loans

Kim Ji-ho, Jung Taek-hoon, Choi Hyun-bin, Lee Si-heon, Yun Ji-hyuk. There were a large number of players that did not make their mark in the Bucheon squad and failed to make many appearances. Three players have been given the opportunity to demonstrate their ability on loan in the revamped K3 League. Two of these players have signed for Cheongju FC: Kim Ji-ho and Choi Hyun-bin. 22 year-old Kim is a midfielder that played three times for Bucheon in 2019, down from seven appearances in his debut season of 2018. 23 year-old Choi is a defender that failed to make a single appearance last year, which was his first as a professional. The third player to be loaned out is 24 year-old Jung Taek-hoon, the most experienced of the trio with 14 games and one goal across two seasons for Bucheon. He has been loaned to Gyeongju Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power FC. Gyeongju HNP are the stronger of the two sides, having been one of the most successful teams in the now defunct National League, while Cheongju FC have largely been a lower-mid table club in the former K3 Advanced League.

As well as those that have departed Bucheon on loan, there are two players that spent last year on loan at Bucheon and have not extended their stay. 21 year-old attacker Lee Si-heon arrived from Jeonbuk Motors in July on a 6 month loan deal. Lee made 11 appearances, including four starts, but did not score a single goal in 2019. His fellow 21 year-old Jeonbuk teammate Yun Ji-hyuk also joined Bucheon on loan in July, but fared a lot worse as the defender only played once for the club. 

Fringe Players

Kim Hyun-chul, Myung Sung-joon, Shin Seung-min, Jang Baek-gyu, Kim Chan-hee. Multiple players that did not play regularly were instead released from their contract. Defender Kim Hyun-chul (24 years old), defender Myung Sung-joon (21) and midfielder Shin Seung-min (22) did not extend contracts after all failing to play once all season. Joining them is attacker Jang Baek-gyu (28), who made three appearances in 2019 after signing from Gyeongju HNP last winter. Fellow forward Kim Chan-hee (29) is also leaving Bucheon, but his contract was terminated early. He played 12 times last season and scored once, which was an improvement on his previous season at Daejeon Citizen when he only played on four occasions. It is possible that it was his wish to cancel the contract in order to receive more game time elsewhere, though equally possible that Bucheon were unhappy with his performances.

Foreigners Departing

Nam Song, Marlon de Jesus, Nilson Junior. One player that was also on the fringes of Bucheon was 22 year-old defender Nam Song. The Chinese-born midfielder rejoined Bucheon after playing 27 times on loan for Chongqing Lifan in the 2017 Chinese Super League. He had a rough start to his first season at Bucheon since turning professional, playing only three times in 2018, but things took a turn for the worse and he failed to play once in 2019, resulting in his contract not being renewed this winter.

Joining Nam Song among the many players that did not receive a contract renewal for Bucheon, are the club's two other foreign players. Ecuadorian forward Marlon de Jesus only joined at the beginning of 2019, but certainly had a season to remember. The 28 year-old Bucheon Player of the Season nominee made 29 appearances and scored 10 goals, making him the club's joint top scorer of the season. After initially taking several months to warm up, the attacker scored his first goal for Bucheon in June and never looked back, playing a crucial part in the club's late run to the play-offs. Reportedly suffering from homesickness, Marlon returned to his home country to sign for first-tier side CD El Nacional, his third spell at the club.

Bucheon's other top scorer of 2019 has also departed, though he has remained in Korea. Brazilian defender Nilson Junior was named as Bucheon's Player of the Season, a title that was well-earned as he played in every single match of the season. A crucial player in both attack and defence, the 30 year-old had been a permanent fixture in the Bucheon first-team since joining in 2017. Having also played in Korea between 2014-16 for Busan IPark, Nilson has signed for his third K League club, FC Anyang. Anyang are local rivals of Bucheon and knocked Bucheon out of the 2019 K League 2 Promotion Play-offs after finishing third place in the league, so it is likely that Nilson has signed with a view that Anyang are more likely candidates for promotion in 2020.

National Service

Ahn Tae-hyun, Choi Chul-won, Park Gun. The 2019 Bucheon Player of the Year Award had three nominees. Alongside Nilson Junior and Marlon de Jesus, Ahn Tae-hyun was the third nominee and he joins them in departing the club. His absence should only be temporary, as he is joining Sangju Sangmu for his national service and will return during 2021. 26 year-old Ahn has been a key component in Bucheon's midfield ever since joining from Seoul E-Land in 2017, and last season he scored four goals in 36 appearances. He has never played in K League 1 before, so no doubt many clubs will be observing to see if he can succeed at a higher level.

In a similar position is goalkeeper Choi Chul-won, who will be joining Ahn at Sangju Sangmu. 25 year-old Choi has also never played in K League 1, as he has been at Bucheon for his entire career. After joining in 2016, Choi spent two years as a back-up goalie and only played five time in those seasons. He became first choice in 2018, and he has been an outstanding performer for Bucheon ever since. His shot-stopping ability has saved Bucheon on numerous occasions, and he played a vital role in their run to fourth place in 2019, making 35 appearances.

Captain Park Gun will also be temporarily departing for national service, but he will not be going to Sangju Sangmu. If K League 2 citizen club Chungnam Asan was still police club Asan Mugunghwa it is likely that he would have moved there, but as that option is no longer available he will instead be joining Paju City in the newly created K4 League. While Ahn and Choi are at risk of not playing games for Sangju, 29 year-old Park will instead likely be a big fish in a small pond, playing far below his skill level. The best that Bucheon can hope for is that Park doesn't get injured and that he can make the transition back to K League 2 in 2021 without much difficulty.

Key Performers

Lim Dong-hyuk, Kim Jae-woo, Moon Ki-han, Kim Ryun-do. In addition to captain Park Gun leaving, another departing leadership figure at Bucheon is vice-captain Lim Dong-hyuk. The 26 year-old defender was bought by Jeju United, who will be playing in the K League 2 for the first time in their history. This will no doubt hurt Bucheon fans as relations between the two clubs are negative, due to Jeju United previously existing as Bucheon SK, and Bucheon FC 1995 being founded by fans that were against the move. Lim had previously spent his entire career at Bucheon after joining in 2016, and had made over 30 appearances per season every year since 2017. As Jeju are considered to be strong favourites for promotion this move will probably be positive for his career, but the full cost of his relationship with Bucheon fans will be determined when the two sides face each other this season for the first time in their history.

Another defender that has been bought by another club is 21 year-old Kim Jae-woo, who has joined Daegu FC. After starting his career in the lower leagues of Austria with SV Horn, Kim moved to Bucheon in 2018 and only made one appearance for the club that year. 2019 proved to be his breakout season, and he played in 25 matches and scored once. He received call-ups to to South Korea U-22 squad, and was a part of the team competing in the AFC U-23 Championships in Thailand this January. Kim is an exciting prospect for the future and will likely do well in K League 1, though Bucheon would have wished they could have held on to him for a little bit longer.

One of Bucheon's stars of last season was signed by another club upon his contract expiring - Kim Ryun-do. The 28 year-old winger had a fantastic start to 2019 and for several months was Bucheon's top scorer, ending the season with six goals out of 35 appearances. Since turning professional in 2014, the only other club that Kim has played for is Asan Mugunghwa for his national service 2017-18, where he won a K League 2 championship medal. He has now joined Ansan Greeners, who Bucheon famously stole fourth place from in 2019 on the last day of the season. After spending the majority of the second half of last season as a substitute, Kim will be hoping that he will get regular game time at a club that will be looking to fight for promotion in 2020.

It is not always a guarantee that a player will find a new club immediately on the expiry of their contract. 30 year-old midfielder Moon Ki-han started his career at FC Seoul in 2011 and then joined Asan Mugunghwa for national service in 2013-14. A single season at Daegu FC followed and afterwards he joined Bucheon in 2016, where he had been ever since until becoming a free agent this winter. For his first three years at Bucheon Moon would play over 30 matches in each season, but in 2019 his appearances fell to 21 matches, scoring a single goal. Rotation in midfield did not work out for him and a change of scenery is needed for him. Despite falling out of favour at Bucheon, he can still perform well at K League 2 level and would be an asset at most clubs in the division.



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