Hwang Eui-jo (31), the forward striker of the Korean men’s national soccer team, will transfer on loan to FC Seoul in the domestic professional soccer K-League 1 (1st division). Hwang Eui-jo weighed between entering the US and returning to Korea, and recently decided to go to Seoul. Returning to the K-League, Hwang Eui-jo will face Cho Kyu-seong (25, Jeonbuk Hyundai), who competed for a spot in the front line of the national team, for the title of best striker in Korea.
The Seoul club said, “National striker Hwang Eui-jo wears a Seoul uniform. Seoul has confirmed Hwang Ui-jo’s loan signing,” an official announcement was made on the 5th. The length of his loan was not disclosed, but Hwang Eui-jo is said to be playing in Seoul for five months until the summer. After the first winter battery training in Hua Hin, Thailand, Seoul will conduct the second training in Kagoshima, Japan from the 6th. Hwang Ui-jo also accompanies them to the second training session.
Hwang Ui-jo said, “The first part was about the sense of the game. I decided that a team called Seoul would be a good choice for myself and for the future.” He continued, “I want to make it a prestigious team worthy of the name of Seoul. Also, personally, I want to record a lot of attack points. I want to be able to rise to the position I want, both individually and as a team.” 안전놀이터
It is a return to the K-League after 5 years and 6 months. Hwang Ui-jo, who made his professional debut at Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma (now Seongnam FC) in 2013, played 140 games for five seasons until 2017, scoring 35 goals and 8 assists. After advancing to Gamba Osaka (Japan) through the transfer market that summer, he returned to Korea via Girondins de Bordeaux in France Ligue 1 (Part 1) in 2019 and Nottingham Forest (England) Olympiacos (Greece) in 2022.
This season, Hwang Eui-jo was effectively ruled out of power at Olympiacos. He appeared in 12 official matches and only provided 1 assist. It wasn’t easy for him to play for other teams in Europe either. This was due to a FIFA (International Football Federation) rule that during a season he could register for a maximum of three teams, and only play in official matches for two teams during this period. Hwang Eui-jo has played 2 games for Bordeaux and 12 games for Olympiacos this season.
Hwang Eui-jo was the best among the cards that K-League return could choose. Unlike Europe, which is a Chunchun Festival (Autumn-Spring), it was possible to transfer leagues that proceeded with a Chunchu Festival (Spring-Fall). Interest from Korea, Japan, and the United States continued. Hwang Ui-jo’s agent (CAA) proposed to rent Hwang Ui-jo to Seoul. After that, negotiations accelerated. The official announcement was made after completing the necessary procedures such as issuing an ITC (international transfer agreement) and medical tests over the weekend.
Although his performance has declined, Hwang Ui-jo can be an attractive offensive card as he recorded double-digit points in League 1 for two consecutive seasons. His role is to lead the attack on Seoul with Ilyuchenko (Germany/Russia), Willian (Brazil), Na Sang-ho, and Park Dong-jin. Soccer commentator Han Jun-hee said, “For Seoul, it’s like getting one more ‘foreign player level’ striker. He predicted that he would be of great help in rebuilding the famous family.”
The confrontation between the two giants was exciting. At the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Cho Kyu-seong overtook Hwang Eui-jo to become the frontline striker of the national team. Last season, he was the top scorer in the regular league and the FA (Korea Football Association) Cup Most Valuable Player (MVP). With his performance in the domestic stage and the World Cup, he pushed for a European advance this winter, but postponed his transfer to the summer. The two compete for advances into Europe in the first half and for the pride of forward strikers.
Commentator Han Jun-hee said, “Both Hwang Ui-jo and Cho Kyu-seong will challenge Europe again this summer, so the confrontation between the two players will double the fun of the K-League. The fate of the two will also be decided in the summer transfer market depending on their performances in a short period of time.” Cho Kyu-seong said that his strengths are fighting for air supremacy, pressure and defense, and goal-making ability.”
Hwang Ui-jo is expected to receive enough opportunities to participate. Ahn Ik-soo (58), Seoul coach, made a relationship with Hwang Eui-jo in Seongnam in 2013. An official in the transfer market said, “Director Ahn has been in frequent contact with Hwang Eui-jo’s agent since he was in Bordeaux to check the player’s trends and the possibility of a transfer. Hwang Eui-jo’s decision to go to Seoul was largely influenced by director Ahn.”