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Seoul E-Land Sign Vietnamese National Team Player, Nguyễn Văn Toàn

It was announced today that Seoul E-Land have required the services of Vietnamese forward, Nguyễn Văn Toàn. This is another exciting signing for Seoul  this off-season and the Park Choong-kyun era is well and truly up and running.  

This will be the first time that Seoul E-Land have brought in an ASEAN player and Nguyễn will become only the second ASEAN player to come into the K League 2. Michael Redmond looks at how this came about and what to expect from the Vietnamese national team player. 

The Player Quota in the K League 2

Nguyễn Văn Toàn's signing for Seoul E-Land makes him the second ASEAN player to play in the K League 2. An ASEAN payer is a player who is from the Association of South East Asian Nations. The first player to come to Korea with this quota was Asnawi Mangkualam joining Ansan Greeners in 2021. The amount of foreign players in each K League team is capped depending on the player's nationality. Any K League team are aloud five ASEAN players in the side, four players from an AFC nation, or three players from the rest of the world. 
For example, any team could host a foreign quota of:

  • Five ASEAN Players
  • Four AFC Players and one ASEAN player 
  • Three players from the rest of the world, One Asian player, and one ASEAN player
With that in mind. Seoul have never signed an ASEAN player but has had six players who were Japanese. These players were: Rober Cullen, Atsuki Wada, Tomoki Wada, Chikashi Masuda, Yuki Kobayashi, and Tsubasa Nishi. 

With that in mind, this is new territory for Seoul and the K League 2, however, they do have experience in bringing in players from other Asian countries.

Park Choong-kyun's Vision

It was announced in the fall that Seoul E-land has brought in manager Park Choong-kyu to take charge of the team. This comes after Chung Jung-yong's decision to step down after his contract ended. The boss is well known in the K League, being the assistant manager for Choi Kang-hee in a formidable Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors team from 2013-2018. Choong-kyun won four K League 1 titles and an ACL as assistant manager in that time. 

Park Choong-kyun is well aware of the K League, after being assistant manager of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors from 2013-2018.
After his time in the K League was up, he joined Kang-hee once more and spent a short run in China as the coach and assistant coach for Tianjin Quanjian/Tianjin Tianhai. However, it was his move in 2021 to Vietnam which makes sense of the Nguyễn Văn Toàn signing. The gaffer moved to Hanoi FC in 2021 before becoming the Vietnam assistant coach as well. 

Because of this, Park Choong-kyu has experience to deal with Vietnamese payers and has even worked with Nguyễn Văn Toàn for the national side.  

Nguyễn Văn Toàn as a Player

Born April 12th 1996, the 26-year-old forward was born in the Hải Dương province, Vietnam. He has been a part of Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC who play in the V League 1 since 2015. Nguyễn played just under 180 games for the side, scoring 46 goals. He has also played in the ACL and most noticeably scored against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in a 1-1 draw in the 2022 group stages. 

Nguyễn Văn Toàn has scored against K League 1 giants, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
He has also been part of the Vietnamese set-up since 2013. He had time in the U19, U22, and U23 teams. However, he was called up to the national side in 2016. Nguyễn has scored five times so far for Vietnam and will be called up many more times if he can keep up strong performances in the K League 2. 

His Impact on Seoul E-Land 

The fact that Seoul have signed an ASEAN player could bring in a lot of attention from Vietnam for the K League. This was seen in 2021 when Asnawi moved to Ansan Greeners. Ansan's Instagram was under 20,000 followers before he signed. As of today, Ansan have 154,000 followers. Their followers rocketed once Asnawi's announcement was announced. 

With this in mind, Seoul E-Land could see a jump in followers in their social media accounts, and more importantly, their attendance in the stadium. 


Final Thoughts

Since the K League introduced the ASEAN player spot a few years ago, no team bar Ansan Greeers have made use of it. After seeing the success of Asnawi at the Green Wolves and the attention he has brought to the team, it was a great business move for the side. 

For Seoul, they will look to recreate that with Nguyễn Văn Toàn. However, the difference with this signing is that Park Choong-kyun knows him. He has managed him under the national team and he knows what to expect from the forward player. Choong-kyun knows the potential the player can have in the second division and the impact he can have for Seoul's promotion push. 

The era of Park Choong-kyun is here and his honours are more than enough for fans to trust his process and his signings. This is a signing that fans will not have seen coming, but will also welcome with open arms.   

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