Arguably Arsenal ’s most perturbing signing of the summer was that of South Korean striker Park Chu-Young. It was clear over the course of last season that the Gunners needed to bolster their forward ranks, with Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh failing to produce the goods on a regular basis and Robin Van Persie forced to shoulder too much of the goal-scoring burden.
Indeed, the general consensus amongst Arsenal fans was that the club needed to sign a world-class striker to play alongside Van Persie. Arsene Wenger , being Arsene Wenger , however, had different ideas. Instead he signed Park a player, who was relatively unknown outside of French footballing circles, but who had a fairly decent scoring record. There’s every chance that he could grow and develop into a World Class player, but the feeling is that he’s not quite there yet. Especially seeing as he’s not receiving regular first-team football.
Still Arsenal fans were excited to see their young Korean striker thrown into action. After all, he had to be a step up on Chamakh. Well, unfortunately chances have not been forthcoming for Park who has yet to feature for the club.
The lack of action is surprising considering that due to his enforced military service, there’s a good chance he’ll be off to join the South Korean army in two years time. When Van Persie doesn’t score, Arsenal start struggling for goals, yet still Wenger doesn’t chance his arm.
Despite this Park remains in a rich vein of form. He’s scoring regularly for South Korea and managed to put in a Man of the Match performance against Poland last night grabbing a brace in South Korea’s 2-0 victory. Given that he’s in form I don’t see why Wenger didn’t put him on in the dying minutes against Spurs. That was an opportunity for him to quickly establish himself as a club favourite and besides it’s not like there was too much inspiration on the pitch at the time.
If Wenger isn’t going to play him why did he buy a player that’s going to be scooting off to join the army in a couple of season’s time?
My fear is that Arsenal bought Park to give him a few run outs in the Carling Cup and more importantly to rake in merchandising profits from the Far East. Despite him showing that he’s a natural goal-scorer on the International stage the club seems content to treat him like a mascot. Quite frankly, that’s a pretty poor attitude to display from a club that should be promoting a type of meritocracy.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the Arsenal way lately.
Read more of Harry’s articles at This is Futbol