Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain-PSG), who has become an integral part of the South Korean national soccer team, will be out for a while due to injury. Both Jürgen Klinsmann, the head coach of the Korean men’s national team, and Hwang Sun-hong, the head coach of the Asian Games men’s national team, are faced with the same problem: how to deal with Lee’s absence.
Lee started the second leg of the 2023-2024 French Ligue 1 match against Toulouse on Nov. 20 and played just 51 minutes before being substituted. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at the time, but two days later, PSG announced that Lee had injured his quadriceps, the muscle in the front of his left thigh, and that he would be “dedicated to his recovery during the A-Match period.” The September A-match period runs from September 4 to 12. That means Lee will need at least three to four weeks to recover.
Klinsmann made it clear in a video press conference on Sept. 17 and 18 that he would be selecting Lee. He stuck to his guns, even though the public opinion was that he should send Lee to the Asian Games squad that was convening during the same period. However, due to an unforeseen injury, he was forced to field a team without Lee.
Klinsmann has been using Lee since his appointment. In particular, he has continued to use him as a flanker instead of a traditional attacking midfielder. Lee is not limited to the flanks, as he uses his individuality to create chances for his teammates with his breakaway runs, passes, and crosses. Other players in the current squad who can play on the flanks include Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), Moon Sun-min (Jeonbuk), and Ahn Hyun-beom (Jeju), who use their speed to break down opposing flanks with straightforward runs.
Klinsmann’s selection of Lee Dong-kyung (Ulsan) can be interpreted in the same way. Like Lee, Lee is left-footed and plays a very similar style. Alternatively, there is the realistic alternative of turning Lee Jae-Sung (Mainz) to the flank.
Hwang, who is still waiting for Lee Kang-in, can at least breathe a sigh of relief that Lee Kang-in will be able to join the team without being a physical drain. However, the reason Hwang wanted to call up Lee in the first place was because he needed to work with the existing players. South Korea opens its Asian Games Group E campaign against Kuwait on Sept. 19, and due to the timing, Lee will likely join the squad after recovering from his injury without having played or trained fully. 바카라사이트
At this point, it’s unlikely that Hwang will start Lee in the first game of the group stage. However, in this case, we need to think about a ‘Plan B’ in case Lee is not available. Hong Hyun-seok (Hent) or Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart) could be that plan B, which is why Hong’s inclusion in the A team is a bit of a disappointment.