Who do you think of when you hear the name of a young Korean player?
The first name that springs to mind is probably Lee Gang-in, who plays for Mallorca alongside Kubo Takefusa.
But just as there are plenty of promising youngsters in Japan besides Kubo, there are plenty of promising youngsters in Korea too.
In fact, Korea finished runners-up at the 2019 U-20 World Cup and won the 2020 U-23 Asian Championship.
In this article, we will introduce you to some of Korea’s most promising young players.
- Date of birth: 20 September 1997 (age 24)
- Club: Ulsan Hyundai
- Position: Midfielder
Lee Dong-Gyeong is one of the most exciting players in the K League.
He plays as an attacking midfielder and leads the Ulsan Hyundai attack with his calm, experienced play. His left-footed kick is very accurate and he is Ulsan Hyundai’s set-piece kicker. He is particularly proud of his midfield shot, which made a big impact in the quarter-final against Mexico at the Tokyo Olympics. He has also been criticised for his physical weaknesses, which have improved dramatically since the Tokyo Olympics and he is now able to run defensively for the whole 90 minutes.
Lee Dong-Gyeong has been a runner-up four times for Ulsan Hyundai.
On 1 December 2013, Lee Dong-Gyeong was the ball boy in the final league game against Pohang Steelers. In that game, Ulsan Hyundai lost 0-1, allowing Pohang Steelers to come back and win the title. After witnessing this tragedy, Lee Dong-Gyeong decided that he must become a professional player and win. However, six years later, when Lee Dong-Gyeong was competing for the championship with Ulsan Hyundai in the 2019 season, he was suddenly left out of the squad for the top-of-the-table clash with Jeonbuk Hyundai.
The following year, in the 2020 season, Ulsan Hyundai again finished second in the league and were runners-up in the FA Cup, losing to Jeonbuk Hyundai. The following season, Ulsan Hyundai finished second in the league again and were runners-up in the FA Cup to Jeonbuk Hyundai.
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- Date of birth: 1 April 2002 (age 19)
- Club : Suwon Samsung
- Position : FW
A super rookie who broke through at the young age of 19 this season.
The Korean media described him as “Korea’s version of Embappe” because of his incredible speed, leaving opposing defenders stranded in the net. At his club, Suwon Samsung, he often plays in the right wing or striker position. As mentioned above, his main weapon is his speedy dribbling, which makes him stand out in the K-League, where there are many fast FWs. He can also dribble with the back of his legs, and his versatility gives him a lot of potential.
He is a defensively-minded player, but his tackling after the ball often leads to fouls, and his ball-winning skills could be improved.
In the first half of this season’s K-League season, Suwon Samsung was led by a trio of young players from Maedan High School: Jeong Sang-bin (19), Kim Tae-hwan (20) and Kang Hyung-mook (21). (Maedan High School is a high school football club that has become the de facto U-18 team of Suwon Samsung).
Online football community sites and the media introduced the three players under the unit name “Mae Nada Boys”. The name came from the similarity of the pronunciation of the word ‘methane’ to that of the popular Korean idol group ‘Bulletproof Boys’.
Jeong Sang-bin was a surprise call-up to the South Korean national team for the Qatar World Cup Asian second qualifying round in June this year for his performances in the league, and he made his debut for the national team in the second half against Sri Lanka on June 9. He made his debut for the national team in the second half against Sri Lanka on January 9, scoring his first goal just five minutes into the game to help the team to a 5-0 victory.
Although he has been out injured recently, he is still a teenager and has a long way to go. He is still a teenager and has a long way to go.
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- Date of birth: 6th January 1999 (age 22)
- Club : Gwangju FC
- Position : FW
Known as “KTX” and “Om Salah”, this left-handed footballer has the speed to run 100m in 11 seconds and the rhythm of a dribbler, just like the original Mohamed Salah. His speed and ability to combine with his team-mates in tight spaces makes him a threat to opposition defences.
Eom Won-sang is often compared to the likes of Mohamed Salah and Raheem Sterling, both of whom are close to him in terms of style of play, but he has said in previous interviews that his target is former Brazilian international Douglas Costa.
Eom Wonsan first came to national attention in 2019 when he played at the U-20 World Cup in Poland.
The South Koreans started the tournament defensively in the first half, before bringing on Wonsan in the second half in an attempt to find a rhythm in attack. This proved to be a successful strategy throughout the tournament, with Korea finishing as runners-up. In the first round of the tournament against Japan, he was particularly impressive, using his speed to start counters and confuse the Japanese defence. At the time, Eom Won-sang’s club, Gwangju FC, was approached by a number of European scouts after seeing his performances at the U-20 World Cup.
Eom Won-sang made his debut for the national team in March 2021. It will be interesting to see if he can survive the fierce competition from Hwang Hee-chan and Kwon Chang-hoon in the WG of the Korean A team.
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- Date of birth: 14 April 2001 (age 20)
- Club: Werder Bremen (GER)
- Position: Defender (SB, CB), DMF, WG
Multi-skilled player who has shown great promise in Korean football. His dominant foot is his right foot, but he can also use his left foot without difficulty.
He can play at both left and right back. He has also played at DMF and WG, and was a key defender at CB for the U-19 Korean national team.
Park Kyu-hyun is best known for his accurate and fast kicks, creating chances with pinpoint crosses when he plays at SB and adding rhythm to attacks with fast wedge passes and accurate long balls up front at CB and DMF. He is also the corner kick kicker for Werder Bremen’s second team, where he mainly plays.
He was brought up at Ulsan Hyundai, but before making his debut in the K-League he spent two years in Germany’s lower leagues on loan with Werder Bremen’s second team. He joined Werder Bremen on loan at the beginning of the season.
Park Kyu-hyun caused controversy at home and abroad, including in China and South Korea, when he was featured in a photo of himself stepping on the winner’s trophy at the 2019 Panda Cup victory ceremony in Chengdu, China. He said he had meant to imitate Sergio Ramos, whom he admires, but was criticised for his lack of respect and eventually apologised via video.
He has recently set up his own YouTube channel where he posts videos about his personal life and training. In the video, Park Kyu-hyun revealed his shocking diet, saying that he eats 14 raw eggs a day to get enough protein. Perhaps this diet is the secret to his success in Germany.
The card is not yet available on Sorare, so if you’re interested, you should check it out while you can.
- Date of birth: 20 September 1999 (age 22)
- Club: SC Freiburg (GER)
- Position: WG, OMF
A WG with great technique and quickness of movement, he lacks physical strength but makes up for it with his technique underfoot and sometimes acts like a fantasista in the OMF position. He is a clever player in terms of positioning and play decisions, a rare trait among Korean players, many of whom are very athletic.
He is a former member of the elite Bayern Munich squad, and his high football IQ was probably developed at Bayern Munich.
Since joining SC Freiburg for the 2019-2020 season, he has been a consistent performer, mainly in the WG position. However, he suffered a setback this year when he was narrowly omitted from the squad for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
He is the fifth Asian player in Bayern Munich’s history, after Ali Daei, Vahid Hashemian, Ali Karimi and Takashi Usami, and the first Korean.
Prior to joining Bayern Munich, he played for Incheon United’s youth team, where his senior teammates were former FC Barcelona player Lee Seung-woo and his junior teammate Lee Gang-in of Mallorca.
He had no direct contact with Jung Woo-yeon, who used to play for Kyoto Sanga and Vissel Kobe in the J.League, until the national team game in October this year, but they have been friends for a long time, communicating frequently on SNS. He is also the same age as Chung Woo-young, who plays for the LG Twins in Korean professional baseball, and Woo-young of the idol group ATEEZ.
The cards are not yet available on Sorare, so if you are interested in them, you should check them out while you can.