Jurgen Klinsmann, head coach of the Korean men’s national soccer team, is paying attention to Kang-in Lee’s potential. It is Lee Kang-in’s turn to seize the opportunity to go beyond his status as a promising player and become the center of the national team.
On the 28th at 8:00 PM, Korea and Uruguay will have a friendly match at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. Korea drew 2-2 against Colombia on the 25th, Klinsman’s Korean debut match.
One of the most noteworthy players in the national team is Lee Kang-in. During the World Cup in Qatar, he was active as a ‘joker’ and his stock price soared. Fans’ keen interest in Lee Kang-in was confirmed even before the Colombia match. When Lee Kang-in was substituted, the fans cheered and welcomed him, and when Korea got a last-minute free kick opportunity, the crowd chanted “Lee Kang-in”.
Director Klinsman also confirmed Korean fans’ expectations for Lee Kang-in. He said at a press conference before the game on the 27th, “I felt that he was popular and loved in Korea.” He also revealed his own expectations. “He’s quite young and has a lot of talent,” he added. “I’m seeing him grow as he gets playing time. He’ll become a better player, and if that happens, he’ll get more playing time for the national team.”
In the new coaching system, attention is focused on whether he can become a key player. Until now, Lee Kang-in has been mainly used as a substitute in the national team. He was substituted in 7 out of 11 A match appearances. The pros and cons are clear, so there were risk factors to use as a starter in the adult stage. But now the story is different. Kang-in Lee showed off his weaknesses in Mallorca this season, proving that he is competitive even as a starter.메이저놀이터
He also showed potential against Colombia, albeit in a short time. As coach Klinsman placed Son Heung-min in the center and gave him a free-role, Lee Kang-in’s place to play was limited to wingers. If it was the same as before, when the usage was difficult, he would not have been able to show his skills because the environment in which he could do his best was not created, but the ‘upgraded’ Lee Kang-in proved that he could integrate into the team as a team player from the side. He moved first to receive the ball, and even tried to break through by exchanging passes.
With Hwang Hee-chan out of injury, several players, including Lee Kang-in, are competing for a spot in the attacking team. In the match against Colombia, Jung Woo-young got a chance to start, and Lee Kang-in and Na Sang-ho stepped on the ground as replacements. Considering that the coach will extensively inspect the players as the first coach, it is highly likely that the starting players will change. Lee Kang-in, who caught the attention of manager Klinsman in many ways, is likely to increase his playing time. If Lee Kang-in takes advantage of this opportunity and proves that he is an ‘already good player’, he can quickly establish himself in Klinsman.