Better late than never: Ryu Seung-Woo, a youth phenom for Korea during last summer’s U20 World Cup, just entered into a one year loan from Jeju United to Bayer Leverkusen effective in January. A number of sources confirmed this, including at Sportal.de – he will join Son Heung-Min who joined the Bundesliga outfit last summer.
Ryu was on track to join Borussia Dortmund in late July, but mysteriously declined last summer, citing that he wasn’t ready. What may have been the factor behind the decision may have been the K-League ruling affecting draft status of unattached players planning to move abroad. As Jae mentioned in a previous post comment: “I suspect that this was a pre-planned move by Ryu and Jeju. That he would sign with the club (Bayer Leverkusen) so he avoids the domestic five-year ban, but then would immediately go to Europe. I can’t imagine Jeju, who ended up in the relegation half last season, would be willing to let their prize signing go without having played a single game for them.”
So instead of BVB, Ryu eventually makes it to Germany, but this time on a different club with a fellow Korean on board. The Tavern owner is wondering outloud: did the fact that Son Heung-Min, already playing for Bayer Leverkusen, had a part to play in getting this deal worked out? Or indirectly, did his presence help seal this deal?
UPDATE: according to Arirang news, Ryu, who just arrived to Jeju after the K-League draft was held, is set to arrive in Germany on Monday. The report goes on to state, “Jeju was reluctant to let him go, but acknowledged that he’s likely to improve drastically in Leverkusen, especially with Son there to help him adjust.” The article links up to their televised report on the loan deal announcement. They also briefly mentioned Ji So-Yeon who is headed to Chelsea’s Women’s team -transferring from INAC Kobe Leonessa. We missed that news announcement previously, but that deserves it’s own post- more on that shortly (including news on her goal against Chelsea in an international tournament and a goal in an Empress Cup quarterfinal).
UPDATE: according to Bild, Bayer Leverkusen may consider loaning Ryu so that he could get some playing time as he adjusts to European football. The 19 year old Jeju United striker is starting his 1 year loan to Leverkusen and is expected to arrive later today to join up with the squad in training. Speculation is that he may not see any minutes with the first squad, especially right away, but could get some valuable playing experience at another club in the meantime.
Meanwhile games in Europe are underway. The Tavern will update as we get more information. Here’s a clip of Ryu in action at last summer’s World Cup that got managers and scouts attention: