“(Paris Saint-Germain) said they will give me a final answer on the 13th.”
Coach Hwang Sun-hong, whose team is aiming for gold at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, gave Lee a deadline of the 13th, or tomorrow, to find out when he would join the team. Lee returned to training in time for the event and showed off his light workouts.굿모닝토토
Korea will begin their quest for Asian Games gold with their first group game against Kuwait on June 19. The Asian Games team, which has been camping and warming up in Changwon since the 4th, will travel to the Paju National Football Center (NFC) on the 13th for final preparations. The team will then fly to China via Incheon International Airport on the afternoon of the 16th.
The team is currently in the midst of finalizing training, but it’s far from complete. Wildcard Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), who is playing alongside Klinsmann, has yet to join the team, and goalkeeper Kim Jung-hoon (Jeonbuk Hyundai) has been called up to the Olympic team with Hwang Sun-hong. Still, they will be able to complete their respective national team schedules and prepare for the Asian Games without any problems.
The key is Lee Kang-in. He hasn’t yet finalized a loan agreement. Hwang Sun-hong has already named the final roster for the Asian Games, and last month, national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann confirmed to reporters at a press conference that Lee Kang-in had signed with Paris Saint-Germain and would be participating in the Asian Games.
However, Lee’s timing was complicated when he injured his thigh last month. Lee spent two weeks rehabbing his left quadriceps injury. This allowed him to skip the September A-match and go all-in for the Asian Games, but it is not known when he will be able to join Hwang Sun-hong.
Until last week, coach Hwang Sun-hong said, “I have been in personal contact with Lee Kang-in. It is understood that he has been training with Ball since this week. I understand that he is focusing on the weekend game after the A match in September.”
According to Hwang, Lee Kang-in will play a home game against French Ligue 1 side Nice on the upcoming weekend after the A-match schedule is over, and then a decision will be made about his future in China. However, the decision is still a day away.
Coach Hwang Sun-hong said, “The official mail came, and I heard that he is recovering quickly. When we exchanged letters, they said they would give us a final answer on the 13th.” “Paris Saint-Germain wants to play the weekend game and go, but we want to join them as soon as possible. It’s a problem that needs to be solved.”
Fortunately, Lee is back from his injury. On the 12th, Paris Saint-Germain released a video of Lee’s return to training through their official channel. Lee resumed training under the guidance of a trainer, cycling lightly. After completing his personal training with a serious expression, Lee laughed with his teammates and sweated even with his cheeks. His movements were relatively light.
As Lee Kang-in overcomes his injury, Hwang Sun-hong’s strategy is almost decided. For now, it’s likely that he will travel to Korea for the first round of the Asian Games. “It’s been more than a year since I’ve played with Lee Kang-in,” Hwang said, “and I’ve sorted it out in my head. It’s hard to say about his position because I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, so it’s good for us to have him join us sooner rather than later.”
Lee also needs to get fitter. This is already his second injury since joining Paris Saint-Germain. In July, he injured his hamstring in pre-season and spent some time rehabbing. He also recently injured his thigh, so it’s important for him to recover well and get back on the field.
Like Hwang Sun-hong, Paris Saint-Germain are also trying to figure out how to use Lee Kang-in. Lee has been deployed on the flanks since preseason. However, while Lee was out of the lineup for a while due to injury, Kylian Mbappe joined training and Ousmane Dembele was brought in. The French international has the potential to fill the left and right flanks.
Naturally, Lee Kang-in is expected to get a chance in the second line. He has the ability to be creative in the center of the field and to send passes forward. Even before his injury, local media predicted that Lee would be given a chance in the second line instead of on the flanks.
In a relatively weak midfield, there’s definitely room for Lee to make an impact. Paris Saint-Germain lost soccer guru Marco Verratti to Qatar’s Al Arabi. The loss of the passing midfielder will be filled by Lee Kang-in, who can creatively utilize his teammates.
Both Hwang Sun-hong and Paris Saint-Germain are happy to have him back. First, he will have to decide whether or not to join the Asian Games, which will have direct consequences. Paris Saint-Germain will reveal when Lee Kang-in will join Hwang Sun-hong on the 13th.