European soccer, which keeps soccer fans awake at night, will begin its 2023-2024 season this weekend.
The arrival of Kim Min-jae (김민재) and Lee Kang-in (이강인) has increased interest in the Bundesliga and Ligue 1, but most eyes are still on the English Premier League (EPL), where Son Heung-min (손흥민) is the ace of Korean soccer.
Son struggled last season as his team struggled and injuries, including an orbital fracture, took their toll. The pain of a sports hernia also plagued him.
Aside from the 2015-2016 season (8 goals), when he was still adjusting to Tottenham, Son has consistently scored over 20 goals in all competitions, but last season he only scored 14 goals. In league play alone, he barely reached double figures with 10 goals.
At the age of 31, Son is a seasoned veteran and will need to show that he hasn’t lost his touch this season.
Despite not scoring any offensive points in their preseason friendlies, the duo’s overall performances have raised expectations.
In particular, in the match against Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) on June 6, Son Heung-min contributed to the first goal and the third goal from the penalty spot with quality passes, helping Tottenham to a 5-1 victory.
With new manager Enzi Postecoglou’s emphasis on attacking soccer, Son will be able to showcase his talents to the fullest.
The only catch is that his best friend Harry Kane could be on his way to Bayern Munich.
It will also be important for Heung-min to link up with attacking midfielder James Maddison, who could be a summer signing for Tottenham.
Maddison has emerged as the centerpiece of Tottenham’s offense in preseason friendlies, playing every game.
Tottenham opens the EPL on Sept. 13 at home against Brentford at 10 p.m. ET.
Brentford features center back Kim Ji-Soo, who joined the club in the summer after performing well at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023.
However, it’s unclear if Kim will be able to make his EPL debut on opening day, as he has been split between the second and first teams in friendlies in preseason.
Wolverhampton’s “bull” Hwang Hee-chan, who missed a lot of time last season due to a thigh injury, is also ready to redeem himself in the new season.
Hwang scored the wedge goal in the final preseason match against Stade Rennes (France) on May 5, a 3-1 win for Wolverhampton.
Wolverhampton will open their campaign away to Manchester United on September 15 at 4:00 am.
In the Scottish Premiership, which already kicked off last weekend, Celtic’s “Korean Trio” will be in action.
Winter transfer striker Oh Hyun-gyu has settled in nicely, scoring seven goals in all competitions despite mostly coming off the bench, while domestic star Yang Hyun-jun “Young Gun” and midfielder Kwon Hyuk-gyu are summer additions.
Yang made his debut in the opening game against Ross County at home on Sept. 5, coming on as a second-half substitute.
Celtic also have five Japanese players – Furuhashi Kyogo, Maeda Daizen, Hatate Leo, Iwata Tomoki, and Kobayashi Yuki – who form an ‘East Asian Connection’ with the Korean trio.
It will be interesting to see which of the Korean and Japanese players will excel in the subtle competition.
Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see how many trophies Manchester City, the EPL’s Manchester City, will collect in the new season after completing the first “European treble” (three titles including the Champions League) in the club’s history last season.
With core resources such as Elling Holland, who won the EPL and UEFA Champions League (UCL) double last season, and top attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, City’s squad is said to be stronger with the addition of center back Josko Gvardiol (Croatia). 토토사이트