Arsene Wenger Convinced by Korean Players' Quality
Arsene Wenger is finally convinced by Manchester United winger Park Ji-sung's quality. He's perhaps the most underrated player in the Premier League, but he has a knack of scoring against Arsenal (quality of the Arsenal defence is not even worth a mention here).
Park scored two goals in his last three outings against Arsenal, and more importantly, one of his goals came in the Champions League semifinal for United at the Emirates.
Even before joining the Red Devils, Park was a threat to the Gunners. He terrorised the Arsenal defence in the Champions League when he played for the Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. Later, Ferguson swooped him up in 2005 to use mainly as a weapon against the North London club.
Park is a squad player. He gives his everything to the cause of the team. He has pace, and he can attack through the flanks all day and night. He has unbelievable energy levels. He can score some important goals. Sadly though, he's the most underrated player in the Premier League.
Wenger has always been a big fan of Park, and he said, "There are very few Asian players playing in Europe and especially in the Premier League, but the Koreans look to have adapted very well here. Park has started very well. When you play against him, he’s a very hard working player who sacrifices for the team but as well has good skill and scores important goals, unfortunately, against us ."
Wenger is also apparently impressed by another Korean player, Lee Chung-Yong, who plays for Bolton Wanderers.
In 2009, Lee was named as one of the top 50 rising stars in Football. Bolton was quick to pounce on this player and agreed to a deal worth £2.2m with FC Seoul in the summer of 2009. Since then, Lee has never looked back. He is performing well even when the team is struggling and facing relegation.
Wenger's Asian experiment was a flop when he tried Junichi Inamoto of Japan in the Premier League. After this failure, Wenger felt that Asian Players don't have what it takes to compete in the Premier League. But he's made to rethink after the success of Park and Lee.
Wenger will be eagerly waiting for the World Cup to have a close look at some of the highly potential players from the Asian countries like South Korea and Japan.
In the future, maybe after the World Cup, Wenger may well try some of the Asian talents at Arsenal in a bid to rename his club as the "Asian club in the Premier League". It seems like he's not happy anymore with the "French club" tag.
Wenger's latest appreciation of the Asian talents might well have put some of the best Asian players on high alert. If needed, Korean players like Ki Sung-Yong (Celtic) and Lee Seung-Ryul (FC Seoul) are the risk-free options for Wenger to introduce in the Premier League.
Anyhow, Wenger has managed a Japanese club for 18 months, so he's not new to the Asian environment. Sooner or later Wenger will start his Asian expedition, but success is not guaranteed.
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