Why Newcastle United have done a fantastic job by snapping up Ki Sung-yeung
Ki, 29, played two games in the World Cup but was injured in South Korea’s shock 2-0 win over Germany, which knocked Joachim Low’s team out of the tournament. With two defeats in three group-stage games, South Korea have failed to qualify for the World Cup’s last 16 in Russia.
Now, Ki has joined the Magpies on a free transfer following Swansea’s relegation to the Championship. He has become their second summer arrival after the club permanently signed on-loan goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
Ki arrives at St.James’ Park with over 150 Premier League appearances to his name. Although he was woefully inconsistent last season, the player would improve Newcastle’s squad to a great extent.
The South Korean is a central midfielder and is known for his box-to-box abilities. He often sits in the middle of the park and is adept at breaking up play. More often than not, Ki keeps things simple and is an excellent passer of the ball. The 29-year-old is comfortable with the ball at his feet, making him strong at retaining possession.
A player with good positional sense and interception skills, Ki would bring a lot of energy and bite to Newcastle’s midfield. He is technically sound and the former Celtic man is also a genuine goal threat. In fact, he enjoyed his best season during the 2014/15 campaign as he scored 8 Premier League goals for Swansea.
Currently, at Newcastle, Benitez has the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Mohamed Diame as options for the central midfield area.
With Mikel Merino reportedly set for a move to Real Sociedad after just a season, Ki’s signing would fill the void. Furthermore, it will enable the player to link-up again with his former Swansea teammate Shelvey, which will be music to the ears of Newcastle fans.
Ki is a seasoned Premier League player who is capable of making significant contributions at the highest level and is a low-risk capture for the Magpies. He might not be a flashy player but he is an effective midfielder with the ability to make a difference.
Considering Ki’s quality and wealth of Premier League experience, Newcastle have made one of the smartest deals in the summer transfer window. And the fact that he has joined them on a free transfer, simply adds greater value to the deal.