After a stellar debut for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in France, Lee Kang-in, 22 (pictured), is increasingly likely to switch positions. It’s a move that could have implications for the Hangzhou Asian Games, which are just over a month away.
France’s Le Parisien reported on Nov. 16 that Lee will most likely play in midfield at PSG instead of on the wing. A day earlier, another French outlet, L’Equipe, had reported that PSG may not be looking to sign a new midfielder, but could instead push for a position change for the already proven Lee. Local reports suggest that the midfielder will take the field against Toulouse on Nov. 20 instead of as a striker.
Originally, PSG coach Luis Enrique categorized Lee as a flanker, but it seems that he changed his mind due to excessive competition for places.
Kylian Mbappe, who is back after a falling out with his club, and Ousmane Dembele, who joined from Barcelona, are on the left and right wings. Throw in Marco Asensio from Real Madrid, and Lee could have been relegated to a fourth option.
This would be different if Lee were to play as an attacking midfielder, another position he has experience in the Spanish Primera Liga. He’d be expected to anchor the midfield alongside Zaire Emery and Ugarte. He may not be as creative on the flanks, but he can be the focal point of an attack with his clever dribbling runs, penetrating passes, and accurate kicks. It’s something Lee has shown countless times since his youth when he was touted as the future of Korean soccer, and it’s something he’s proven in the Spanish Primera Liga. PSG have been criticized for not having anyone capable of playmaking in the middle of the park. Mbappe’s return to creative passing in the middle of the park and his ability to support the likes of Hammers up front makes him the perfect fit. Marco Verratti, who has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, has been rumored to compete with Lee. Interestingly, PSG’s clearance of positional traffic could also benefit Korean soccer as it prepares for the Hangzhou Asian Games.
In May, Hwang Sun-hong, the head coach of the Asian Games soccer team, admitted that he was having trouble deciding where to play Lee Kang-in. At the time, Hwang stated his principle of “letting him play where he plays well and where he likes to play,” but he was worried about excessive competition for resources on the national team’s flanks from clubs like PSG. If you look at the final roster for the Asian Games announced by the Korean Football Association last month, there are only a handful of positions that overlap with Lee’s, including Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan), and Song Min-gyu (Jeonbuk).
However, if Lee Kang-in plays as an attacking midfielder, he can maximize the resources on the other flanks.메이저사이트
Hwang is making final adjustments to the timing of Lee’s call-up. It’s not easy to call him up early for the September A match, but the unexpected position change adds to the golden hope as it saves unnecessary trial and error.