Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) Lee Kang-in and the military issue has also attracted attention from overseas media.
Brazil’s ‘O Liberal’ said on the 14th (KST), “PSG’s freshman Lee Kang-in is obligated to do military service. However, if he wins the Asian Games, he can get a special exemption from military service.”
Lee joined PSG, the most prestigious club in France. “We are pleased to announce the signing of Lee Kang-in,” the club said on its website on September 9. His contract runs until 2028,” the club announced on its website. PSG is the reigning champion of the French Ligue 1 with 11 titles and is a favorite to win the UEFA Champions League (UCL). Lee will now become the first South Korean player to join PSG.
Given his performances last season, it’s no wonder PSG were interested in him. Entering his second season in Mallorca in 2022-23, Lee has improved his physicality, speed, and defense, all of which were initially noted as weaknesses. His dribbling, passing, pressing, playmaking, and kicking also improved, and he became a key part of Mallorca’s attack.
Statistically, it was his best season yet. Not only did he score six goals and provide six assists in La Liga, but his impact in the attack was huge. According to The Athletic, Lee had 41 successful dribbles in 10 La Liga games after the World Cup in Qatar, the highest number in the league. He also had a 66% dribble completion rate, which was significantly higher than the La Liga average of 47.2%.
In April, Lee was nominated for the La Liga Secretary General’s Player of the Month award, and last season he was nominated for the La Liga Team of the Year. In the midfield category, Lee was up against the likes of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Frankie De Jong, Gabi, and Pedri (Barcelona). Although he didn’t make the final cut, it’s a testament to Lee’s rising status.
With his best performances in La Liga, Lee quickly caught the attention of European clubs. Since January, he’s been linked to Aston Villa, Brighton, Newcastle United, and Wolverhampton in the English Premier League (EPL), and he’s been under constant observation.메이저놀이터
In La Liga, Atletico Madrid joined the chase. Atletico went on the offensive, even making a formal offer for Lee in late April. However, Mallorca rejected the offer, and negotiations stalled.
As the talks with Atletico cooled down, PSG made an offer for the player. The player himself favored PSG over Atletico, and Mallorca responded positively to the higher transfer fee. The negotiations progressed quickly, and the deal was finalized.
Lee was overjoyed. “I’m delighted to join PSG,” he told the club shortly after signing. PSG is one of the best teams in the world and has the best players in the world. I can’t wait to start my new adventure and look forward to meeting the fans and bringing them joy on the pitch.”
Lee’s arrival at PSG has been met with a huge amount of interest. Since his arrival, his jersey has already been sold out. So much so, that PSG had to post an announcement that the jerseys were being delayed. It’s a clear indication of his popularity and star power.
Meanwhile, Lee has been training tirelessly to prepare for PSG’s preseason. He’s been training with the PSG squad under Luis Enrique to get used to his new surroundings. He is fluent in Spanish and has been able to integrate into the team by communicating with Enrique, Marco Asensio, Juan Bernat, and former Valencia teammate Carlos Soler.
Along with adjusting to Ligue 1, Lee has one more challenge ahead of him. The Hangzhou Asian Games in September. On September 14, Hwang Sun-hong announced the final roster for the Asian Games, and Lee Kang-in’s name was on it. In a press conference shortly after the selection, Hwang revealed that he was still in talks with PSG about the player’s future.
In the end, it’s safe to say that it’s up to PSG to decide whether or not Lee Kang-in will play in the Asian Games. The Asian Games, which begin in mid-September, are not an A-match, so PSG is not obligated to send him. However, if Lee wins a gold medal, he will be granted a special exemption from military service, giving PSG a chance to increase the youngster’s value.
Overseas media also took notice of Lee’s military issue and whether or not he would be called up for the Asian Games. Brazil’s O Liberal specifically mentioned Son Heung-min’s case. “South Koreans are required to do military service, but they can get a special exemption if they win the Asian Games,” the publication said. “Lee Kang-in will receive a special exemption from military service if he wins a gold medal at the Asian Games on September 23. This is the same as the case of Son Heung-min, who won the 2018 Asian Games.”
In 2018, Son was sent to the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games as a wild card, courtesy of Tottenham. He went on to lead the team to a gold medal at the tournament and was granted a special exemption from military service. He later re-signed with Tottenham and honored his obligation. Now that his military service has been resolved, Tottenham are guaranteed a steady stream of goals in the English Premier League (EPL).
Just as Tottenham let Son go, PSG must make a decision for Lee and the club’s future, according to O Liberal. “The PSG board must send Lee to the tournament in order to fulfill his military service exemption, even though the Asian Games are not an A-match period as defined by FIFA,” the publication claimed. Overseas media are also calling for PSG to release Lee, seeing his potential and promise.