Football column

Lee Gang-in is not the only one! Five promising young Korean players!

When you hear the words “young Korean players,” who do you think of?

Probably the first player that comes to mind is Lee Gang-in, who plays for Mallorca alongside Kubo Tatehusa.

However, just as there are many other promising players in Japan besides Kubo, there are many promising players in South Korea as well.

In fact, Korea finished second in the 2019 U-20 World Cup and won the 2020 U-23 Asian Championship.

In this article, I would like to introduce some of the promising young players in Korea.

Lee Dong-Gyeong

Lee Dong Gyeong
  • Date of Birth: September 20, 1997 (age 24)
  • Club: Ulsan Hyundai
  • Position: MF

Player Information

Lee Dong-Gyeong is one of the hottest players in the K-League right now.

He plays as an attacking midfielder and leads Ulsan Hyundai’s attack with his calm, experienced play. His left-footed kicks are very accurate and he is the set-piece kicker for Ulsan Hyundai. In particular, he has absolute confidence in his midfield shot, which made a big impact in the quarterfinal match against Mexico at the Tokyo Olympics. His physical weaknesses were often pointed out until last season, but after the Tokyo Olympics he has improved dramatically and is now able to run defensively for the entire 90 minutes.


Lee Dong-Gyeong has been a four-time runner-up for Ulsan Hyundai.

On December 1, 2013, Lee Dong-Gyeong served as a ball boy in the final league match against Pohang Steelers. In that game, Ulsan Hyundai lost 0-1, allowing the Pohang Steelers to pull off an upset victory. After witnessing this tragedy, Lee Dong-Gyeong decided that he must become a professional player and always 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 during the first-place match against Jeonbuk Hyundai, allowing the team to win the championship again before his eyes.

The following year, in the 2020 season, Ulsan Hyundai finished second in the league again, only to lose to Jeonbuk Hyundai in the FA Cup and finish as runners-up. At that time, the sight of Lee Dong-Gyeong sobbing with great sadness saddened the hearts of the fans.

Sorare has already sold limited, rare and super rare cards.

Jeong Sang-bin

Jung Sang Bin
  • Date of Birth: April 1, 2002 (age 19)
  • Club : Suwon Samsung
  • Position : FW

Player Information

A super rookie who made his breakthrough this season at the young age of 19.

The Korean media described him as “Korea’s version of Embappe” because of the way he leaves his opponents’ defenders stranded and rocks the net with his incredible speed. At his club, Suwon Samsung, he often plays in the right WG or striker position. As mentioned above, his biggest weapon is his speedy dribbling, and he is outstandingly fast even in the K-League, where there are many fast FWs. He can also dribble with the backs of his legs, and his potential is high in that he has a wide variety of plays.

He has a good defensive awareness, but his tackling after the ball often results in fouls, and he needs to improve his ball-winning skills.


Leading Suwon Samsung to third place in the first half of the K-League season was 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 soccer team that has become the de facto U-18 team of Suwon Samsung.)

Online soccer community sites and the media introduced the three players with the unit name “Umedan Boys”. The name came from the similarity of the pronunciation of the word “methane” to that of the popular Korean idol group “Bulletproof Youth League”.

Jeon 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 performance 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 of the match against Sri Lanka on March 9, and scored his first goal for the national team just five minutes into the match, helping the team to a 5-0 victory.

He has been out of action a lot recently due to injuries, but he is still in his teens and has a long way to go. We can’t take our eyes off Jung Sang-bin’s development in the future.

Limited, rare, super rare, and unique cards are already available at Sorare.

Eom Won-sang

Eom Won-Sang
  • Date of Birth: January 6, 1999 (age 22)
  • Club : Gwangju FC
  • Position : FW

Player Information

Known as “KTX” and “Om Salah,” this left-handed WG has the speed to run 100m in 11 seconds and the unique rhythm of dribbling, just like the original Mohamed Salah. His speed and rhythm are similar to Mohamed Salah’s, and his ability to combine with his teammates in tight spaces is a threat to opposing defenders.

He 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 in past interviews he has said that his target player is former Brazilian international Douglas Costa.


Eom Won-sang’s most notable domestic achievement was probably his performance at the U-20 World Cup in Poland in 2019.

The South Koreans started the tournament defensively in the first half, and then brought on Wonsan in the second half in an attempt to get into an attacking rhythm. As it turned out, this strategy worked well throughout the tournament, and the Koreans finished as runners-up. Especially in the first round of the final tournament against Japan, he became the starting point of counters with his overwhelming speed, confusing the Japanese defenders. At the time, Om Won Sang’s club, Gwangju FC, received inquiries from several European scouts after seeing his performance at the U-20 World Cup.

Eom Won-sang made his debut for the A national team in March 2021. It will be interesting to see if he can survive in the WG of the Korean A team, where competition is fierce with the likes of Hwang Hee-chan and Kwon Chang-hoon.

Sorare already has limited, rare, and super rare cards available for purchase.

Park Kyu-hyun

  • Date of birth: April 14, 2001 (age 20)
  • Club: Werder Bremen (GER)
  • Position: DF (SB, CB), DMF, WG

Player Info.

Multi-skilled player with great potential in Korean soccer. His dominant foot is his right foot, but he can also use his left foot without difficulty.

He can play as 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 synonymous with accurate and fast kicks, creating chances with pinpoint cross balls when he plays at SB, and adding rhythm to attacks with fast wedge passes and accurate long balls up front when he plays at CB or DMF. He is also a corner kick kicker for Werder Bremen’s second team, where he mainly plays.

He grew up in Ulsan Hyundai’s youth system, 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 moved to Werder Bremen at the beginning of this season.


Park Kyu-hyun caused controversy at home and abroad, including in China and South Korea, when a photo of him stomping on the winner’s trophy at the 2019 Panda Cup victory ceremony in Chengdu, China, was featured. He said he thought he was imitating Sergio Ramos, whom he admires, but he was criticized for his lack of respect and eventually apologized via video.

Recently, he started his own YouTube channel and has been posting videos about his personal life and training. In the video, Park Kyu-hyun revealed his shocking eating habits, saying that he eats 14 raw eggs a day to consume protein. This diet may have been the secret to his success in Germany.

The card is not yet available on Sorare, so if you are interested in it, you should check it out while you can.

Woo-young Jeong

  • Date of Birth: September 20, 1999 (age 22)
  • Club : SC Freiburg(GER)
  • Position: WG, OMF

Player Information

A WG with great technique and quickness of movement, he lacks physical strength but makes up for it with his technique under his feet and sometimes acts like a fantasista in the OMF position. He is a smart player in terms of positioning and play judgment, which is a rare trait among Korean players, many of whom are highly athletic.

He is an elite player from the lower divisions of Germany’s prestigious Bayern Munich, and his high soccer IQ was probably developed at Bayern Munich.

Since joining SC Freiburg for the 2019-2020 season, he has been playing consistently, mainly in the WG position. However, he suffered a setback this year when he was not selected 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 player.

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 teammates were Mallorca’s Lee Gang-in.

He had no direct contact with Woo-young Jeong, 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 Woo-young Jeong, a member of the LG Twins of Korean professional baseball, and Woo-young Jeong of the idol group ATEEZ.

Sorare has not yet sold any cards, so those who are interested should check it out while they can.


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