Can Seongnam Navigate Their Way Through a Post-Relegation Transfer Window?
Having been unable to stave off relegation in 2022, Seongnam FC are now dealing with the fallout that comes with it as they navigate their way through a transfer window potentially laden with more outbound than in. With that in mind, could a clean slate be exactly what the Magpies need to bounce straight back to the top flight?
Getting relegated has a lot of bad things attached to it, one of them being the incapability to maintain the best players at the club and with Seongnam is no different. With that in mind, did Seongnam win or lose in this transfer window? The answer is very simple, Seongnam lost.
Losing key players like Yeon Je-woon, Lee Si-young, Park Soo-il, Kim Min-hyeok (CM), Palacios, Choi Ji-mook and Gwon Wan-kyu is a major blow to the team’s quality, would be impossible to win this transfer window, in the short-term that is.
With the appointment of the new coach, Lee Ki-hyung, a new playing style will be used as well as a new way of approaching the transfer window.
With Seongnam's acquisitions so far, we can clearly see a pattern and player profile that Lee Ki-hyung wants to work with. When the new coach arrived, he gave five objectives to accomplish throughout the season, one of them being promotion (looking at the statements made by the new captain Shim Dong-woon), and by looking at the players Seongnam brought in, that might be possible. The pattern is clear, former and current Korean international players at different levels, who have plenty of experience in K League 2 and are entering the prime years of their careers.
These players, by being former internationals, may want to prove themselves and prove they can play at the top of the Korean football pyramid, the K League. What can be important to Seongnam's aspirations of promotion.
Signings:Kuk Tae-jung: former U19, U22 and U23. South Korean Champion with Jeonbuk in 16/17. 27 years old full-back.
Moon Chang-jin: former U19, U21, U22, U23 and South Korean international. South Korean Champion with Pohang in 12/13, two-time South Korean Cup winner with Pohang in 11/12 and 12/13, K League 2 Champion with Gimcheon Sangmu in 20/21. 29 years old midfielder.
Lee Sang-min: former U17 and current U23 international. 23 years old midfielder.
Loan players:Park Sang-hyeok: former U14, U16, U17, U18 and U19. K League 2 Champion with Gimcheon Sangmu in 20/21. 24 years old midfielder.
You Ju-an: former U14, U16, U17 and U18. South Korean Cup Winner with Suwon Samsung in 18/19. 24 years old midfielder.
Jung Han-min former U15, U17, U18, U19, U20 and current U23 international. 22 years old winger.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that Seongnam lost this transfer window and that's factual but I also mentioned a short-term loss because this transfer window can be very important looking at the mid-long term future of the club.
With all the off-the-pitch problems surrounding Seongnam it is a must to have a well-structured plan, it might be overthinking things but this transfer window could be a great first step to that possible well-structured plan. Seongnam has a lot of experience within the squad as mentioned before, and that experience can be used to develop the young talent they have.
Seongnam has players like Kim Ji-soo, Lee Jun-sang, Yang Si-hoo, Yu Sun, Kim Hun-min, and Lee Sang-min that can become good K League players in the future. Having a squad with this level of experience is going to be very beneficial for the development of said players.
Being in lower divisions allows young players to play without pressure and with increased playing time, therefore this fresh start can be important to a club with a lot of unsolved problems like Seongnam.
Yes, Seongnam lost quality but we still have a somewhat competitive squad to fight for promotion as well as a squad that can be a good foundation for the future.