Yang Hyun-jun is leaving Gangwon FC.
“Yang Hyun-jun’s transfer to Celtic has been confirmed,” Gangwon officially announced on the club’s official social media account on Friday. Gangwon also announced that a farewell ceremony for Yang will be held after the 7:30 p.m. match against FC Seoul.
Yang is a highly anticipated prospect in the K League. After making his debut for Gangwon in the 2021 season, Yang became a prominent rookie player last season. Yang developed into one of Gangwon’s key attackers last season, scoring eight goals and providing four assists in 36 games. His performance earned him the K League 1 Young Player of the Year award.
He even surprised coach Antonio Conte. Yang rattled the Tottenham defense with his unflappable play against Ryan Sessegnon and Davinson Sanchez in the team’s K League clash against Tottenham Hotspur in July last year.
It was a game that introduced him to fans in Korea. Yang’s bold advances, dribbles, and breakthroughs earned him applause from the fans. He even had a scoring chance in the last minute of the first half. After fooling Eric Dier with a fantastic body-painting move inside the penalty box, Yang had to settle for a shot that went wide.
He even earned a taegeuk. Yang was a “surprise” call-up to the national team in September’s A-match trials ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. He didn’t make his debut, but it was certainly motivating.
The expectations on Kang Won were also very high. As a result, he was given the number seven shirt for the season. Despite suffering a broken nose at the beginning of the season, Yang Hyun-joon quickly returned to action and dedicated himself to the team. He even scored the winning goal against Jeonbuk Hyundai this season.
His performances have led to consistent European speculation. In the past, Fenerbahçe and Celtic have shown interest. Having enjoyed the success of signing Oh Hyun-kyu, the Hoops are once again looking to recruit from within the K League, and in doing so, they have been actively pursuing Yang Hyun-joon.
In fact, Celtic submitted an official proposal to Gangwon. A Gangwon official confirmed to Interfootball on March 22 that they had indeed received an offer. However, Gangwon’s situation makes it difficult to let go of a key player. Gangwon have won two, drawn seven and lost 11 of their 20 K League 1 matches this season (13 points, 11th in the league). The team decided that it would be difficult to send their ace in the race to stay up.
An official from Gangwon said, “Going to Europe is good for the player and for us. Our situation is not good right now, so we can’t afford to let him go easily. If we weren’t in a relegation battle, we would have been able to let him go for the sake of victory. It’s hard to let him go because he’s a key part of the team.”
However, Yang was unhappy with the club’s decision. He claimed that he was not able to meet with the CEO after the match against Incheon United on February 2. “I want to talk to him,” he said, “but now…” “I asked him to meet with me, but we haven’t met yet. I think we need to resolve this issue somehow so that I can play well and help the team, whether I stay here or go there. I think I need to resolve it quickly and prepare for it within this week.” Yang Hyun-joon even expressed his desire to leave, saying, “If the transfer fee is not enough, I would like to take a pay cut to go.”
However, CEO Kim Byung-ji revealed that they are continuing to communicate. Furthermore, the team’s operations and reinforcement departments decided that a transfer was not feasible, and the CEO revealed that he could not unilaterally send the player to another team.
In this situation, it was confirmed that CEO Kim Byung-ji and Yang Hyun-jun met in person on the 5th and resolved the misunderstanding. Even though the misunderstanding has been resolved, it does not mean that the transfer will go through. Gangwon will have to review Celtic’s official offer again and consider the club’s situation. During this process, they had a full conversation with Yang Hyun-joon’s side to discuss his future.
In the end, Gangwon decided to transfer Yang Hyun-jun. At 5:50 p.m. on the 15th, Kangwon held a “major announcement live broadcast” on the club’s official YouTube channel. Kangwon hosted the live broadcast with CEO Kim Byung-ji and an in-stadium announcer.
“We started the broadcast to provide accurate information regarding the transfer of Yang Hyun-joon,” said CEO Kim Byung-ji, revealing the reason for the live broadcast.
Kim Byung-ji said, “Yang Hyun-joon is transferring to Celtic. I don’t want to let him go. The first time I heard about Yang’s transfer was against Gwangju in May. Until then, there were many things that could be done with just his presence, and his skills were basic. Therefore, I thought, “Let’s think about Yang’s transfer when a good offer comes in the winter.” He continued. 토토꽁포인트
“Since then, we’ve had to think about a lot of things, but I’m glad we were able to create this opportunity. I thought we should support Yang’s future dreams for the betterment of Korean soccer. However, sometimes the reality is not easy, so I was worried. I hope Yang Hyun-joon will go and do well,” he added.