December 31, 2012
Just hours to go here before the New Years and already the first big headline of 2013 is already here: according to Naver.com -Sunderland’s Ji Dong-Won, the cult-hero who scored the game winner in last year’s New Years shock win against Manchester City, has received a loan transfer to Augsburg for the January transfer window.
He was strongly linked to Augsburg after Koo Ja-Cheol put a good word for him to his managers. However, Chunnam Dragons, his former K-League club had put a bid for him for roughly £1 million. But earlier last week, Martin O’Neil suggested he was more comfortable loaning out Ji so as to possibly get him back to the squad at a later time. Ji originally was brought in to Sunderland for £2.5 million as then manager Steve Bruce had been impressed with his performances for the Taeguk Warriors in the 2011 Asian Cup.
Ji will now join Koo Ja-Cheol and could start his first game for Augsburg in an away match at Fortuna Dusseldorf on January 20th. They will likely face off against Cha Du-Ri (and who knows if Cha will be installed as a midfielder or in the backline for Dusseldorf). Augsburg is now sitting in the 2nd to last place in the Bundesliga table, so it’ll be once again a fight to escape relegation as it was last season -however they’ll be bolstered in the centerback position by another transfer: American international Michael Parkhurst. His move was announced earlier in the month; Parkhurst had earlier helped F.C. Nordsjælland win the Danish Superliga and with it automatic qualification in this season’s Champions League. In the front office, Augsburg made more changes with a new General Manager, Stephan Reuter, a former German international with an impressive playing pedigree, having been part of the 1990 winning World Cup squad.
With that, I’m breaking out the soju in celebration. Seh-heh-bok-mahn-e-pad-oo-say-oh! Happy New Year!