PSG’s Lee Kang-in to help Hwang Seon-hong win gold… ‘Military service’ AG list released D-1

Can Lee Kang-in (22, Paris Saint-Germain) go for gold? We are one day away from the announcement of Hwang Sun-hong’s final roster for the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) 2023.

“The final roster announcement for the Hangzhou AG will be held at 2pm on the 14th at the Football Hall Conference Room,” the Korea Football Association (KFA) announced on the 13th. The roster announcement will be followed by a press conference with head coach Hwang Sun-hong.

Hwang will be attempting to win his third consecutive gold medal after winning in Incheon in 2014 and Jakarta-Palembang in 2018. The event was originally scheduled to take place in 2022, but was postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, the age limit for competitors was adjusted to 24 years and under (born in 1999). The final roster was also increased from 20 to 22 players. For coach Hwang Sun-hong, the options are even wider.

This year’s AG squad is expected to be one of the strongest ever. Many players have already made their A-match debuts. Lee Kang-in and Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), Song Min-kyu (Jeonbuk), Hong Hyun-seok (Ghent), Jung Sang-bin (Minnesota), Uhm Ji-sung (Gwangju) and Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan) are just a few. It’s inevitable that some of them will be eliminated.안전놀이터

[OSEN=Incheon Airport, Reporter Choi Kyu-han] The U24 national football team, which will compete in the Hangzhou Asian Games, departed from Incheon Airport on the morning of 12 June for a friendly match against China.Hwang Sun-hong, head coach of the U24 national football team, talks to reporters. 2023.06.12 /

The competition for the second spot in particular is as fierce as ever. PSG’s Lee Kang-in, Bundesliga star Jeong Woo-young, Ulsan winger Uhm Won-sang and Jeonbuk attacker Song Min-gyu are all waiting to be called up. Not to mention Yang Hyun-joon (Gangwon), who is pursuing a move to Celtic, and the sharp and decisive Go Jae-hyun (Daegu), Go Young-joon (Pohang) and Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon).

In central midfield, Kim Bong-soo (Jeju), Jeong Ho-yeon (Gwangju) and Kwon Hyuk-kyu (Busan) are all regular starters in the K League. The same goes for the defence. Lee Han-beom, Lee Tae-seok, Kim Joo-sung (Seoul) and Hwang Jae-won (Daegu) are not just up-and-comers but key players for their respective teams.

The wildcards are the variables. After returning from a two-game series against China last month, coach Hwang Sun-hong said, “We will use all three wild cards. There are some players with skills among the existing players, so we should consider the synergy.” Among the leading candidates are 1998-born full-back Seol Young-woo (Ulsan), 1997-born midfielder Baek Seung-ho and 1995-born centre-back Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk).

There is also interest in whether overseas player Oh Hyun-gyu (Celtic) will join the team. Hwang Sun-hong wants him badly enough that he personally met with Oh to talk to him, but it’s unclear if Celtic will allow him to leave. Oh has already completed his military service and the new season is about to begin, so there is little incentive for Celtic to send him on a non-compulsory loan for this tournament.

The main concern is Lee Kang-in, who joined a top European club this week when he donned the colours of French Ligue 1 side PSG, and will now play alongside world-class players such as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Marco Verratti and Marquinhos. This comes two years after he was released by his hometown club Valencia in 2021.

While Lee has been busy adjusting to his new surroundings, the AG is also very important for him. His exemption from military service is at stake. A gold medal would be a more significant achievement for PSG than the initial competition.

However, it’s unclear whether PSG will let Lee go straight away after signing him for €22 million. He is still expected to be called up for the Asian Cup in Qatar next January, so he will be out for around two months if he makes it to the AG. Of course, it would be good for PSG in the long run if Lee Kang-in resolved his military obligations, but he may not cooperate this time.

If Lee does join Hwang Sun-hong, it would make perfect sense. He dazzled in La Liga last season, scoring six goals and providing six assists, and has proven himself competitive at the senior level, not just at the age-group level.

Hwang Sun-hong has experience. Lee played at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup in March last year, linking up with the likes of Hong Hyun-seok and Ko Jae-hyun. Although the national team fell short in the quarter-finals, his performance was certainly impressive. If Lee is selected for the tournament, he could form a ‘golden second line’ alongside Jung Woo-young and Uhm Won-sang.

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