Hwang Ui-jo returns, Cho Kyu-seong remains… 2023 K-League, will there be a competition for all-time native strikers?

Over the past two years, the K-League 1’s top scorer race has been led by native strikers, instead of foreign strikers who have been dominant for a long time. As a result, Joo Min-gyu (Ulsan, then Jeju) in 2021 and Cho Kyu-seong (Jeonbuk) in 2022 rose to the top scorer. It is the first time that a native striker has been the top scorer for two consecutive years since Kim Shin-wook in 2015 and Jeong Jo-guk in 2016.

Even in the 2023 season ahead of the opening, the strength of native strikers is expected to continue. Beyond simple strength, it seems that the competition of the past between native strikers will unfold.

First of all, the most notable thing is the pride confrontation between the national strikers. Hwang Ui-jo, who played in Europe for a while and returned after signing a short-term lease contract for six months with FC Seoul, and Cho Kyu-seong, who temporarily postponed his dream of advancing to Europe and stayed in Jeonbuk, are expected to clash most fiercely this season.

Hwang Ui-jo, who had been playing as an immovable striker for the national team for a long time, failed to take a place in his team due to last year’s sluggish performance, and gave the starting position to Cho Kyu-seong after the 2022 Qatar World Cup match against Uruguay. Cho Kyu-seong raised the stock price at once with a multi-goal against Ghana, signaling a generational change of strikers in the national team.

Both Hwang Ui-jo and Cho Kyu-sung have a common goal of advancing to Europe through the summer transfer window. Hwang Ui-jo cannot be said to have the best performance, but in terms of his experience and ability, he is evaluated as the best among all strikers in the K-League 1. On the other hand, Kyu-Sung Cho is running towards the peak of his skills, and he added the confidence he gained from the World Cup. 스포츠토토

Ju Min-gyu, who can be said to be the best native striker in the K-League 1 in terms of comprehensiveness over the past two years, left Jeju and moved to Ulsan, gaining wings. He did not show much performance when he played in Ulsan in 2019, but it is different now that he has returned with an upgrade in Jeju. Furthermore, there are many players in Ulsan who can help him, such as Um Won-sang and Lee Chung-yong. Ju Min-gyu, who made a big success with 22 goals in 2021 and 17 goals and 7 assists in 2022, dreams of more this season.

Lee Seung-woo (Suwon FC), who came back to Korea after giving up his life in Europe last year, is still alive this year. After finishing fourth in scoring last year with 14 goals, he is predicting more goals this season. It is a clear boon to Lee Seung-woo that players he worked with last year, such as Lars, Murillo, and Kim Hyun, are all in good health. In particular, his collaboration with midfielder Yoon Bit-garam, who came through a trade with Jeju, is highly anticipated. Both Lee Seung-woo and Yoon Bit-garam are players who have been called ‘geniuses’, and Suwon FC fans are already excited about the synergy effect the two will create.

In addition, Kim Dae-won, who led Gangwon FC’s Final A line last year, Lee Dong-jun (Jeonbuk), who returned from the German Bundesliga, and Um Won-sang, who played a major role in Ulsan’s victory last year, are also strikers to keep an eye on.

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