According to journalists in Spain, South Korean international Lee Kang-In is of interest to Unai Emery.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
According to journalists in Spain, Aston Villa boss Unai Emery is interested in bringing South Korean attacking midfielder Lee Kang-In to Villa Park this January.
The South Korea international appeared across four games at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, picking up an assist as his side fell to a 3-2 loss against Ghana.
At only 21-years-old, Lee Kang-In has been touted as a potential wonderkid for the last few years, but has struggled to match the tag after former club Valencia struggled to offload the midfielder amid money problems, causing him to terminate his contract with the club after six years in their academy and three around the first side.
Since 2021, Lee Kang-In has played for La Liga club RCD Mallorca – appearing 34 times in his debut season at Los Piratas. This season, the midfielder has appeared 17 times and has picked up two goals and three assists in all competitions.
Kang-In, which is the player’s given name, is a versatile player who would be able to fit into Emery’s system at Aston Villa. With the player able to be deployed on either wing or centrally, he’ll prove to be a valuable asset for the Spaniard’s new side.
The midfielder has picked up a number of individual awards in recent years, after being named the Korean FA Young Player of the Year and the the AFC Youth Player of the Year in 2019, as well as winning the U-20 World Cup Golden Ball the very same year.
As with many Asian players, there are great opportunities to grow the club in new markets. RCD Mallorca recently launched a Korean-language Twitter account due to their rapidly growing Korean fanbase and their support of Lee Kang-In. Aston Villa currently operate an official Japanese account, launched when Women’s Football star Mana Iwabuchi signed for the club in 2021.
With two years left on his Mallorca contract, Lee Kang-In would likely cost around the £15,000,000 mark if Aston Villa are able to convince the player to join, and the club to sell.
One to keep an eye out for, Villans!