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From Pohang Steelers to Middlesbrough on a free transfer
Why didn't Boro management contact South Korean football aficionados, who didn't have a conflict of interest with Lee Dong-Gook, about his wayward attitude?
Another red flag Steve Gibson's advisors overlooked was Lee failing to score a Bundesliga goal for Werder Bremen on loan. At the time, a 21-year-old Lee was watching and learning from a dominant Claudio Pizarro and an experienced Aílton.
Lee took his talent for granted, which partly explains why he didn't have a 15-goal season under his belt, when he moved to Riverside.
He wasn't ready physically or mentally for the Premier League and unfortunately he ranks as one of the worst players ever to grace the league.
For someone who was routinely lauded as the next great Korean forward, it was a tough reality check.
After another setback at Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, Lee finally started producing for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. He's netted 15 goals or more for four seasons running—something he had never done prior to joining Jeonbuk.