Lee Kang-in missed the first training session in Japan. Injury fears were raised, but the player was given a break as he is not overdoing it.
PSG took to their social media channels on Sunday to share a picture of the team departing for their pre-season tour of Japan. Most of the first-team squad traveled with the exception of Kylian Mbappe.
Lee Kang-in was also on board. He was next to Neymar in the group photo taken in front of the plane. He also posted a selfie of himself smiling in his seat.
PSG have finally arrived in Japan, and there is a lot of interest in Lee Kang-in. PSG shared a special video with the caption “Lee Kang-in and our fans in Osaka!”. As soon as he stepped out of the airport, Lee approached the waiting Japanese fans. The fact that a fellow Asian player had joined the mega-club was enough to spark interest in the archipelago. Lee signed autographs for each of them and held an impromptu fan signing session.
Before departing for Japan, PSG defeated Le Havre 2-0 at Campus PSG in Poissy, France at 0:00 a.m. on the 22nd. It was a good sparring partner for PSG, as Le Havre won the Ligue 1 last season and were promoted to the Ligue 2 this season.
Luis Enrique started the game with a 4-3-3 formation, a favorite of Barcelona and the invincible Spanish national team when they won the treble in the past. Up front, Ismael Garvey, Marco Asensio, and Lee Kang-in started. Fabian Luis, Manuel Ugarte, and Warren Zaire Emery lined up in the middle. The back four was Rivin Kurzawa, Luca Hernandez, Danilu Pereira, and Ashraf Hakimi. Alexandre Lettelier was in goal.
Lee Kang-in once again showed the flashes of brilliance he showed in Mallorca. He was constantly harassing the defense down the right flank. He linked up perfectly with his first teammates. He took over the role of Lionel Messi, who left for Inter Miami, and fulfilled it.
However, at the end of the first half, something unexpected happened. Lee felt pain in his right hamstring. As it was a pre-season friendly, there was no need to push it, so he didn’t play further. PSG made most of their changes to the starting lineup at the start of the second half. Hugo Ekitiqe’s goal and Mbappe’s late winner sealed the win.
The injury came out of nowhere as he was trying to establish himself at his new club. Fortunately, the injury is not expected to be serious. Lee traveled to Japan with his teammates despite his concerns and was in good spirits. Lee is fortunate that PSG decided not to bring Lettelier, who is known to have suffered a minor knee sprain, on the tour.
However, he did not participate in the first training session in Japan. French publication L’Equipe reported, “PSG held a full training session a few hours after arriving in Osaka, Japan. Neymar played the entire session and scored a very nice goal. However, Lee Kang-in was not present.”
Injuries are a concern, but they are not expected to be serious. “It’s frustrating for him, but he shouldn’t worry. He had pain in the last game against Le Havre, so he needs to be careful. Hopefully, we’ll see him again soon.”
The French ‘PSG Talk’ also said, “Lee Kang-in received a lot of attention from the fans as soon as he arrived in Japan. He wasn’t even cautious about walking after the game against Le Havre. It’s a good sign that he’ll be able to play in the summer tour of Japan,” adding that he is likely to play.
Lee Kang-in became a Parisian this summer. Last season, Lee was “Mallorca itself”. His breakaway runs, aggressive dribbling, and sharp link-ups stood out in every game. His partnership with Bedat Murki was a highlight, but his ability to finish on his own has also grown significantly.
His dribbling ability, in particular, is among the best in all five major European leagues. According to soccer statistics site Fúscore.com, Lee made a whopping 90 successful dribbles last season. This ranked fourth in all five major European leagues, behind “world-class” Vinicius Junior (112), “GOAT” Messi (102), and “French Ligue 1 prospect” Jeremy Dokou (96).
The offers have been pouring in since last winter. Even in the English Premier League (EPL), which is currently considered the best in the world. Atletico Madrid, the “big three” of Spanish La Liga, were also in the mix. They even have a concrete plan to sign him. According to Spain’s El Goal Digital, “Mallorca are not going to let Lee go easily. Atletico want to lower the transfer fee by offering Rodrigo Riquelme.” However, negotiations stalled. Atletico’s financial struggles in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic have caused them to pause several times. Despite the low buyout, they tried to convince him with a cash-and-trade offer, which ultimately fell through.
Instead, Lee jumped on the PSG bandwagon. “PSG and Lee have reached a verbal agreement on a long-term contract,” said Fabrizio Romano, who is familiar with the European soccer transfer market. The medical has already been finalized. All that remains is to finalize the last details. All parties involved in the deal are confident that a deal can be done and a verbal agreement has been reached between the two clubs. We’re just waiting for the signature,” he said, adding his signature ‘here we go’ to signify the deal.
But the official was later than expected. The official announcement was delayed as the search for a new coach was not finalized. There was no word after the medical tests were completed.
However, in Spain and France, Lee’s arrival at PSG was considered a foregone conclusion. “PSG are waiting for the signing of Lee Kang-in. He is planning to leave for Paris in the next few hours. The agreement between the two clubs is true and the details have been finalized. Everything is ready, only the official announcement remains. It could be announced before pre-season,” the report said.카지노
Mallorca was also highlighted. “Mallorca will lose their best asset for €22 million. 20 percent of the transfer fee (4.4 million euros, about 6.3 billion won) will go to Lee Kang-in. Another agreement between the two clubs is a friendly match after the completion of the renovation of Estadi Mallorca Son Moix, which is scheduled for January 2024.”
The same goes for France. “PSG could pick up the pace after the appointment of Enrique,” says Le 10 Sport. Milan Škriniar, Asensio and Ugarte have been officially announced. Lee could be next. That leaves N’Dour, Hernandez, and Lee. Lee could be the next player to be announced from PSG. The French Ligue 1 secretariat has confirmed that Lee is close to joining PSG. “He will come to strengthen the PSG offense,” it said.
It was expected in France that a signing would be announced after the announcement of Enrique’s appointment. Enrique won the Spanish La Liga, Copa del Rey, and UEFA Champions League (UCL) with Barcelona in the 2014-15 season, a ‘triple’.
Enrique is finally in charge. “PSG is delighted to announce the appointment of Enrique as first-team coach on a two-year contract,” the club said on its website on Friday. “He has won numerous individual awards throughout his career, including the 2015 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Coach of the Year. Enrique joins us with a great reputation,” said the official statement.
Shkreliar, Asensio, and Ugarte were announced shortly thereafter. Lee Kang-in was the next to arrive. The official announcement came shortly after Lee arrived in France after flying to Paris via Incheon International Airport on the morning of the 8th. The player, who was released by Valencia, joined PSG on a buyout as they aim to win the ‘big one’ (UCL trophy). His contract is for five years and he has decided to keep the No. 19 shirt he wore in Mallorca.
Earlier, ‘Ouest France’ reported, “PSG are set to sign Mallorca midfielder Lee Kang-in. He is not widely known in France. Let’s take a look at five things you need to know about him,” and introduced him.
The first point is ‘flying shot’. “Born in Incheon, South Korea, Lee Kang-in started playing soccer as a child. He participated in the TV program ‘Fly and Shoot’. He even did a commercial with Manchester United and Korean icon Park Ji-Sung. When he was only 10 years old, he traveled to Spain and joined the Valencia academy.” He shed light on his childhood.
Next is the ‘Valencia years’. “Lee made his debut in the Spanish La Liga in January 2019 and made his first appearance in the UEFA Europa League (UEL) in the same season. In the 2019-20 season, he also played in the Champions League (UCL), facing Chelsea and Lille. Due to financial difficulties, Valencia decided to sell Lee in the summer of 2021.”
The third one is “Outstanding performance at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland”. “The versatile Lee has been in the spotlight since the beginning of his career. He was a complete success at the U-20 World Cup in Poland. He scored two goals and provided four assists to lead South Korea to the final. Despite losing to Ukraine, Lee was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.”
He also talked about the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. “His transition to the A team was quick, and as an excellent joker, Lee seized his opportunity in the final group game against Portugal. He was very active and contributed to South Korea’s victory. Despite this, he remained on the bench against Brazil in the Round of 16, playing only the last 15 minutes.”
The last one is ‘Marseille transfer rumors’. “In the summer of 2020, Lee Kang-in was linked to PSG rivals Marseille. Marseille, who were in the UCL at the time, were looking for a cheap way to strengthen and considered loaning Lee. However, the deal fell through. Now, Lee will be wearing a PSG shirt,” he added.
The competition for places in the starting lineup is not a problem. Spain’s Marca projected the most likely starting lineup for PSG under Enrique next season.
The front three features Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Asensio. Asensio, a longtime Real Madrid player, is expected to get more opportunities at the Santiago Bernabeu than he has in the past. He’ll bring a wealth of experience from Spain
The midfield is also stacked. It includes Lee Kang-in, Bernardo Silva, and Marco Verratti. Silva was one of the key contributors to City’s coveted Continental treble. PSG have been in contact with Silva since the end of the season and are looking to sign him.
The defense was expected to be Nuno Mendes, Hernandez, Marquinhos, and Ashraf Hakimi. Romano confirmed: “Hernandez is moving to PSG. As expected last week, the deal has been finalized and agreed,” Romano said, adding that he will arrive in Paris. He leaves behind Kim Min-jae, whose departure to Bayern Munich is imminent. In goal, Gianluigi Donnarumma remains unchanged. In fact, Lee started the last game against Le Havre and impressed Enrique.
PSG, where Lee will join, have been consistently challenging for the ‘big one’ since the oil money era. Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were joined by Messi to form the ‘MNM line’, but they failed. PSG failed to reach the UCL round of 16 for the second consecutive season.
PSG switched from a strategy of signing star players to prospects. In the process, ‘Majorcan soccer master’ Lee Kang-in joined the Parisians. The goal for next season is very clear. He and PSG will challenge for the Ligue 1 title, as well as the UCL title.
Lee will play an important role. Following Messi’s departure to Inter Miami, Mbappe and Neymar’s careers are in doubt. First, Mbappe didn’t accompany the team on their tour of Japan and publicly stated his plans to leave the club without a contract extension. For PSG, the risk of letting Mbappe go for free is real. Instead of extending his contract, they are preparing to release him in a hurry. According to Euro Sport, PSG want “at least £160 million” for Mbappe and expect European mega-clubs to come calling. The situation is complicated by the fact that Mbappe wants an astronomical €240 million salary from whichever club he joins this summer.
The same goes for Neymar. Al Hilal, who have been scooping up superstars lately, have made an offer. But Neymar is determined to stay. “I hope to play for PSG (next season) as well. I have a contract with the club and no one has said anything to me so far. Even if I am not loved by the fans and players, I will be there. (The injury) is tiring and really uncomfortable. Obviously, the goal is always to win, but I want to play well again, that’s my first goal,” he said of his comeback.
The Japan tour is a showcase for PSG. PSG will face Al Nasr, Cerezo Osaka and Inter Milan. Lee is expected to make his debut unless his hamstring injury is serious. The priority is for him to recover his form and return to training without overdoing it.