By Byung-jin Choi, Incheon International Airport]Seongnam FC fans cheered for Kim Ji-soo (18) as she headed overseas.
The U-20 national team, led by head coach Kim Eun-joong, returned home. Kim arrived at Incheon International Airport Terminal 2 at 12:10 p.m. on Thursday. South Korea reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023. The team finished in fourth place, marking the second consecutive tournament in which they reached the quarterfinals following the 2019 edition.
Kim Eun-Joong-ho has been dubbed the “Valley Generation” and hasn’t received much attention. However, she made an impact in her first game 스포츠토토, beating powerhouse France 2-1. Although the team fell short in the quarterfinals against Italy, losing 1-2, they gave it their all until the final match against Israel (3-4) and impressed soccer fans.
The most prominent player in the defense was Kim Ji-soo. Kim made his presence known last year when he signed a semi-professional contract with Seongnam. After making 19 league appearances in his first professional season, Kim signed a full contract this season.
Touted as the “next Kim Min-jae,” Kim has been the centerpiece of the national team’s defense. Kim has started all seven of South Korea’s matches, holding the center of the defense. Kim has been the leader of the defense with his accurate passing and calm play.
As a result, Kim has received interest from Brentford of the English Premier League (EPL). Brentford officially offered Seongnam $700,000 (approximately $900 million) for Kim’s buyout clause.
Seongnam’s stance is to allow the transfer for the sake of the team. There are still variables such as the work permit.
A Seongnam official said, “We will respect the player’s opinion as much as possible. However, the remaining procedures, such as medical tests, have not been finalized. Now that he’s back in Korea after the World Cup, we’ll talk to him.”
Kim’s departure was also a big concern for Seongnam fans. Gaesder (19) and Lee Ye-bin (19), who met the team at Incheon International Airport upon their return, were the first to praise Kim’s performance. “I’m so proud that the youngest member of the Seongnam team performed so well for the national team,” said Lee Ye-bin. “It was great to see him leading the defense at such a young age,” said Gaesder.
The support for the EPL continued. “It’s a great opportunity for him, so I think we should let him go. I feel like I’m going to cry when I think about the transfer, but the player’s happiness is good for us.” “He worked so hard to get to the quarterfinals, and I hope he can become a famous player by working harder, whether overseas or in the K League.”
“I don’t know when he will leave Seongnam yet, but I believe he will do better and hope he will grow to the national team,” said Gaesder.