Quiet day for Korean players in Europe. I will do a brief overview for teams involving Korean players based on latest and deadline day dealings.
Shinji Kagawa returns to Dortmund on 4 year contract. Time to hit that panic button for Ji……..
is probably what many of you are thinking. I, on the other hand, have different opinion and take to Shinji’s return to Dortmund for following reasons:
1. Koo and Hosogai at Augsburg. Mainz trio of Okazaki, Park Joo Ho, and Koo. Small sample but when Asians stick together, they generally perform better with the help of each other. Shinji’s close relationship with Dortmund can help Ji’s adaptation/transition in Dortmund. I’m actually excited by the prospect of Ji teaming up with Shinji and Reus.
2. Ji’s currently nursing an injury. Kagawa wasted 2 years at Man Utd. Neither are in good condition and contrary to many, Shinji isn’t direct competition to Ji’s playing time at Dortmund. Ji played multiple position in pre-season but the position he played the most – support striker in 4-4-2 diamond with Ramos. Yes, he played CAM but also as LW, RW, and even CF. In my opinion, Ji’s direct competition for playing time is Großkreutz, another all-around player who can play all positions.
Wollscheid (on loan from Leverkusen), Jairo (2.5m euro transfer from Sevilla), Allagui (on loan from Hertha), De Blasis (1.5m euro transfer from Asteras Tripolis), and Hoffman (on loan from Dortmund)
Christian Heidel was busy this week, finalizing deals for 5 new additions. Why do I bring this up? Well, it’s because four of them are attacking players and I have concerns for Koo based on some interesting quotes (Google translated):
“Attacking Midfield: Here are the major sites of the 05 squad. After the departure of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Nicolai Müller lacks classic wingers. Ja-Cheol Koo is – despite his goals against Tripoli and Chemnitz – in the offensive line of three on the left only a temporary solution, as Moritz on the right wing.Both are no winger, by sprinting to the goal line. Todor Nedelev, as a classic Right Wing undertakes not get going. Since 05 manager Christian Heidel is required to amend. On the numeric position Hjulmand however, has spoiled for choice: Yunus Malli has completed a proper preparation, but tight newcomer Filip Djuricic breathing down his neck. The Serb had in Chemnitz some good scenes, to leave him the powers. And there is also still Koo. The captain of the South Korean national team was losgeeist in January for a whopping five million euros from VfL Wolfsburg – for the central position in midfield. But there he is currently only second or third choice.”
“Jonas Hofmann: On Monday, the 22-year-old has yet to pass the medical check, then he is on loan for a year from Borussia Dortmund, as Heidel confirmed in an interview with broadcaster Sky. At Hofmann (31 Bundesliga games, two goals), beginning of the year was already ex-05 coach Thomas Tuchel been keenly interested, but then the Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp had been vetoed. Now the BVB Shinji Kagawa has brought back from Manchester United – thereby Super Talent Hofmann, a man for the offensive left winger, at least temporarily dispensable.”We agree with the player and the releasing club,” said Heidel.”
“Heidel analyzed precisely on Sunday evening that it the team’s lack of pace on the outside, where in addition to Müller and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has torn a gap. “We played with tens on the outside.” Neither Ja-Cheol Koo left still Christoph Moritz right feel comfortable there.”
It’s clear Heidel and Huljemand does not view Koo Ja Cheol as winger. Pressure is on Koo Ja Cheol to maintain his recent good form and establish himself as key player like Park Joo Ho.
Kim Jin Su’s position in the team is safe for now. Some had expected Markus Gisdol to bring in new addition to cope with the loss of Kim Jin Su to Asian Games, however, he plans to improvise instead with his current squad.
Yun Suk Young is in Harry Redknapp’s plan after all. He’s currently out with injury but QPR made moves to favor Yun Suk Young. Danny Simpson was sold to Leicester, new signing Jackie Robinson from Liverpool was immediately loaned out to Championship side Huddersfield, and they are working to off-load Armand Traore.
*Jae jumping in to hijack Takeuchi’s post. Not really transfer news, but it’s come up and since the comments have been quiet this may stir some conversation. Reports out of Italy and Korea are that former Juventus and Sampdoria manager Ciro Ferrara has held talks with the KFA concerning the vacant Korean NT job. It’s not final by any means, but the talks were described as positive, and Ferrara certainly (judging from the reports) is clearly a name the KFA is considering. Personally, I’m not sold on this move should it be true. Ferrara has a good record from his time as Italy U21 coach, and he was also a coach for the Italian senior side when they won the World Cup in 2006. But, his club time at Juve and Sampdoria was pretty sketchy.
My concern for Ji is that Kagawa’s arrival pushes other players into back up roles that Ji would play in. Ramos and Immobile will compete for the forward position. Reus, Mkhitaryan, and Aubameyang can all play on the wings, as can Grosskreutz, and I think all would be ahead of Ji in the pecking order. While Kagawa isn’t in great form, his history with Klopp and Dortmund will get him time regardless. Now if Dortmund has another injury crises then Ji would probably see time, but if they stay healthy, Reus will certainly play almost every game on the left, Kagawa/Mkhitaryan would play through the middle, and Aubameyang and Grosskreutz could play on the right.
1. Well, you have to remember Dortmund’s in mini-injury crisis right now. Kirch, Kuba (ACL, difficult injury to return from), Gundogan, and Sahin are all out injured. With Kagawa’s arrival, Mkhitaryan will see some time as CM next to Bender or Kehl.. although, he was shifted to the wing since last season.
2. Immobile is new to the league. He will go through his pains and adaptation period. I expect him to struggle as Auba and Mkhitaryan did in previous season.. of which, it should provide an opportunity for Ji to make his case when it arrives. As for Auba, he simply isn’t a centre forward who can lead the line.
Btw, Jojic was favored in right wing over Auba. He had fantastic pre-season in 4-4-2 diamond formation but if you discount his world class speed, he lacks in other areas. Klopp opted to use him as super-sub and for this reason, Ji has a chance in right wing as well.
1. Of course, Ji is part of that mini-crisis. I can’t remember, can’t Jojic also play CM as well? I’d be a little surprised if Klopp played Mhkitaryan there (unless he had to)
2. Immobile will struggle, I think we’ve already seen that. I expect Ramos will see significant time as the starting forward though. I know Ji can play as a forward (and has), but it seems like no one sees him as a CF anymore.
Hopefully the chances will come for Ji, but I worry that if Klopp has all his options than Ji will see very little time. I can’t see him pushing any of the regulars out and I think he’s hard pressed for the back up spots.
Yes, Jojic was initially bought to be CM reinforcement. As for Mkhitaryan, don’t be surprised to see him line up in the position. He started his career as CM and Klopp has made in-game adjustments where Mkhitaryan would pull the strings from CM position last season.
hmmm.. an italian to lead south korea? seems like an interesting turn.
if Ji can’t beat out shinji kagawa … that’s just sad man
My worry, Ji vs Kagawa, is that the playing field is uneven. Klopp is obviously a fan of Kagawa, and Kagawa is still a fan favorite at Dortmund. It just feels like there will be more patience with Kagawa and that he’ll be given time regardless of his form.