The future of Korea’s football’ Kim Ji-soo (Seongnam FC) is receiving active attention from English Premier League (EPL) clubs.
An official familiar with the domestic and international football situation said, “An EPL club sent a chief scout directly to Uzbekistan, the host of the U20 Asian Cup, to watch Kim Ji-soo. The potential for growth was confirmed and classified as the top priority on the scouting list.”
The top priority list for recruits also included two rising stars in Japan, Matsuki Kuryu and Kumata Naoki (above FC Tokyo). In addition, although not as interested as Kim Ji-soo, it is known that 2 or 3 additional Korean players made their mark through this tournament.
Kim Ji-soo is a defender born in 2004 who is growing through the national team by age. He signed a semi-professional contract with Seongnam last year when he turned 18 with superior physical strength of 192 cm and 84 kg. At the time, coach Kim Nam-il, who confirmed Kim Ji-soo’s talent early and boldly selected him, explained the advantage, saying, “The way he leads unlike his young age is amazing. Even though he is young, he has stable defense.”
In the summer of that year, he was also selected as a team K-League All-Star against Tottenham Hotspur. Coach Kim Sang-shik, who was in charge of Team K League, praised Kim Ji-soo as “a player who comes to mind with Kim Min-jae.”
Kim Ji-soo, who participated in the U20 Asian Cup as Kim Eun-joong, played full-time in the 1st and 3rd games of the group stage, contributing not only to solid defense but also to offense with bold forward passes. He missed a penalty shoot-out against Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals, but was praised for his performance. 안전놀이터
Kim Ji-soo became a hot topic as it was reported that multiple European clubs such as Bayern Munich and Sporting were eyeing it earlier. Through this U20 Asian Cup, EPL clubs are also getting involved in the competition to recruit Kim Ji-soo, and the stock price is getting higher and higher.
However, even if he transfers to the EPL, it is difficult to expect him to be on the same stage as his seniors, such as Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur). An official added, “If you move to the EPL club mentioned above, it may be difficult to play as a first-team player right away.