Official: FC Seoul sign Hwang Ui-jo on short-term loan deal from Nottingham Forest
(Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)
It's already been a busy winter transfer window for FC Seoul but the capital club have brought in Hwang Ui-jo, who has put pen to paper on a short-term loan deal with the club.
FC Seoul stated in a press release announcing the signing how this transfer continues the precedent set with Hwang In-beom's short-term loan last season and will create positive synergy for both the club and players.
The exact length of the loan is not stated.
Hwang is set to make his first K League appearance in five years having left hometown club Seongnam FC in 2017. He spent four and a half seasons with Seongnam before joining Gamba Osaka in J.League.
A move to Ligue 1 in France with Girondins Bordeaux followed in 2019 where he made 98 appearances in all competitions, scoring 29 and assisting seven.
But after relegation to the French second tier in 2022, Hwang departed and joined English Premier League side Nottingham Forest for a reported fee of £3 million before being sent out on loan to sister club Olympiacos.
Things didn't quite pan out for Hwang while in Greece and so he'll be looking to get his career back on track at FC Seoul.
Why has Hwang Ui-jo returned to K League?
Hwang Ui-jo has already played for Bordeaux and Olympiacos during the 2022-2023 European season meaning, according to FIFA rules, he is not permitted to be registered with a third team in UEFA until the remainder of the campaign. This has meant that Hwang has had to move to another continent to be able to play first-team football. Teams in MLS were reported to be interested, as too K League.
Hwang Ui-jo is expected to play for Seoul until the summer before returning to Nottingham Forest in time for pre-season ahead of the 2023-2024 season in England. However, the length of the loan has not been officially stated by FC Seoul.
Where will Hwang Ui-jo fit in at FC Seoul?
Competition for places at FC Seoul is fierce all across the park and now, with Hwang Ui-jo signing, manager An Ik-soo is now well stocked for centre forwards with Stanislav Iljutcenko, Ji Dong-won, and Park Dong-jin all vying for that same number nine spot.
Hwang can play as a winger or wide forward and was deployed there on a number of occasions for Bordeaux but in 37 appearances on the left flank, scored five (from an xG of 6.4) and didn't provide any assists. From 16 appearances from the right-hand side, Hwang scored one and assisted one. The rest of his goals came while playing through the middle as a number nine.
Hwang, then, will be either partnering Stanislav Iljutecenko in a two-man attack or getting the nod ahead of him as the main striker in a front three. But the increased competition might mean a switch to a front two in a 4-1-3-2 or 4-4-2.