K-Advent Day 20 – Transfers
As integral a part of football as the matchday program and pie used to be in the good old days the transfer windows of the modern game has become almost it’s own separate entity with websites and pretty much full TV channels dedicated to it. It’s the time of year that the smaller clubs hate and the bigger clubs feel compelled to flex their muscles in order to keep their status among the elite. While they might lack a close-to-exploding Jim White the Korean transfer windows of late have thrown up their fair share of activity both in and out. Last season we had Adriano’s move to FC Seoul which almost certainly kept them from losing out on the ACL this year, Lee Keun Ho returned to bolster Jeonbuk’s push for the title and we also bid tearful farewells to Chong Tae Se and Edu as they both swapped hero status in Korea for lower league teams in Japan and China. The movement of players has become so much easier and more frequent since the days when we at 48 Shades Tower were being lifted over the turnstiles for free and pretty much gone are the days of ‘one-club’ players. I’m fairly sure this was not quite what Jean-Marc Bosman had in mind the day he threw his dummies out the pram.
During the last few weeks/months a lot of the focus has been on the Chinese Super League as they have scoured Europe for players that for the most part were surplus to requirements but still command a hefty price-tag. Even in Korea at the beginning of the transfer window all the noise coming from Jeonbuk involved names such as Torres and Van Perise, unsurprisingly these were just rumours and the Mad Green Boys won’t have to think of a song with RVP in the lyrics any time soon. There has been quite a bit of movement though in the top league with Jeonbuk being especially busy in their recruitment drive as they have snapped up pretty much the top talent from the league. They have added podcast favourite Kim Shin Wook aka ‘The Wookie’ from Ulsan, Ko Mu Yeol from Pohang, Lee Jong Ho from Jeonnam and brought in Erik Paartalu from Melbourne City to name but a few. In their recent ACL opening match something like 5 players made their debut over the course of the ninety minutes and one can only imagine if they gel quickly they could quite well run away with the title again. As mentioned yesterday Suwon FC have also been busy and seem to be releasing photos of new signings on a daily basis. Other clubs such as Seongnam and Seoul have also been busy with the former also hoping to double-up as extras in the new Dad’s Army movie such is the average age of their new additions. In all really only Pohang and Suwon Bluewings have been underwhelmingly quiet and given that they have the ACL to add to their domestic adventures this is pretty surprising.
All in all it’s been a pretty busy transfer window and with a couple of weeks still left in which to register foreign players or free transfers there could still be a few more orchestrated ‘fighting’ photos doing the rounds on social media.