Celtic have been handed a boost in their bid to bring Kwon Hyeok-kyu to Parkhead in the January transfer window.
That’s according to the player’s agent, who revealed in a recent interview with South Korean publication Sports Chosun (via the Glasgow Evening Times) that, following earlier reports that Ange Postecoglou had ‘fallen in love’ with the defensive midfielder, the 21-year-old is now “keeping all options open” in the winter market – something that is sure to come as a boost to the Hoops.
Kwon’s agent went on to add: “Scouts from small and medium leagues in Europe are looking for talent in the K-League. Unlike in the past, players also want to take their place on the European stage through stages rather than going directly to the big leagues.”
Considering just how exciting a prospect Kwon has very much proven himself to be in recent seasons, coupled with Postecoglou having already unearthed a number of diamonds from Asia during his tenure at Parkhead, the argument that the Busan IPark starlet could be the 57-year-old manager’s next gem in the transfer market is an easy one to make.
Indeed, over his 19 K League 1 appearances while on loan at Gimcheon Sangmu last year, the £450k-rated talent highly impressed, making an average of 1.7 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 1.1 clearances and winning 3.7 duels – at a success rate of 56% – per game.
The 21-year-old also impressed with the ball at his feet, creating one big chance, in addition to enjoying an average of 40.4 touches per match and completing 88% of his passes.
These returns saw the player who journalist Barry Anderson described as one of South Korea’s “bright prospects due to his high-tempo play, technique and physique” average an extremely impressive Sofascore match rating of 6.83, ranking him as Gimcheon Sangmu’s 11th-best performer in the top flight of Korean football in 2022.
As such, following the success of the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda following their own respective moves from the Far East, considering just how impressive Kwon was in Korea last time out, the youngster could well prove to be Celtic’s next big discovery from Asia – should the Hoops manage to get a deal over the line this winter.