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Oh Hyun-kyu invited to join European club

Posted December. 31, 2022 07:23,   

Updated December. 31, 2022 07:23


Oh Hyun-kyo (21, Suwon Samsung Bluewings FC), the 27th South Korean national team member at the Qatar World Cup, has received an invitation from a European football club. He is the first K-League player other than Korean footballers in overseas leagues to receive such an offer.

“We received an invitation from Scotland’s Celtic FC to recruit Oh Hyun-kyu before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. They made an offer again after the event,” a Suwon Samsung source said Friday. Details of the conditions for his recruitment have yet to be released, but the transfer fee proposed by Celtic reportedly amounts to about 2 million euros (about 2.1 million U.S dollars).

Oh signed a contract as a semi-professional player with Suwon Samsung FC in 2019 when he was a student at Maetan High School. He debuted in the K-League in the year and participated in 11 matches before playing for the military soccer team, Sangmu, in 2020 and 2021. Having rejoined Suwon this year, Oh has had 13 goals and three assists while playing in 36 matches. He scored the finishing goal in the playoff match against the Anyang FC that determined primary and secondary league teams, enabling Suwon to stay in the K-League.

Oh did not make the roster for the World Cup finals in Qatar. However, he was picked as a candidate and joined Team Korea’s training in Qatar. “Oh Hyun-kyu played the most important role among the players that participated in the World Cup,” Korea’s captain Son Heung-min said to express his gratitude. Standing 183 centimeters tall and weighing 72 kilograms, Oh is physically solid and sound at a physical fight with other players and often plays aggressively.

“Our team desperately needs Oh Hyun-kyu next year. We have formed the team centered around Oh. We hope he will play for our team for about one more year,” Suwon said. “The team conveyed this message to Oh, and he shared the understanding and is scheduled to participate in the training camp that will kick off on January 3.” Having signed a five-year contract through 2026, Oh needs Suwon's permission to move to a different team.

The Celtic FC is the team where Ki Sung-yueng and Cha Du-ri played in the past. It is a strong team that has won the league championship in Scotland in nine of the past 10 years. Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou was the coach for the Yokohama Marinos FC in the Japanese J-League from 2018 to 2021. He has a good understanding of Asian soccer, including Japan. Celtic currently has four Japanese players.

Dong-Wook Kim creating@donga.com