“There are exceptions like Kim Min-jae”… ‘Conditions’ for European challenge from the perspective of a ‘professional challenger’

Lee Jin-hyun (25) has been steadily hitting the European stage since becoming an adult. 

Lee Jin-hyun, a native of the K-League 1 Pohang Steelers Youth, became an adult and entered Sungkyunkwan University in 2016, 안전놀이터 before making his debut on the European stage in the summer of 2017 on loan to Vienna, Austria.

In the 2017/18 season in Austria, he scored 1 goal in the league, playing 18 official matches and 1,169 minutes in Vienna, Austria, including the UEFA Europa League stage. 

Later, in the summer of 2018, he returned to Pohang and made his K-League debut. Lee Jin-hyun later joined Daejeon in the 2021 season through Daegu, and led the team’s promotion by acting as the team’s main midfielder for two seasons. 

Lee Jin-hyun became a free agent after being promoted and knocked on the European stage again. Last January, the news that the prestigious Polish team Legia Warsaw was watching Lee Jin-hyun’s test was reported. 

At the time, Regiya was conducting winter training in Turkiye. The local media also revealed, “The management side was reluctant to disclose the name for a while.” 

Lee Jin-hyun tried through two test matches, but unfortunately did not seize the opportunity. The local media said, “Lee Jin-hyun showed a good feeling in the situation with the ball. He threw the pass well and was technically solid. He also had good vision.” .

Subsequently, the media also judged that it is difficult to make high profits in the future even if the age is not small as he was born in 1997. 

Lee Jin-hyun, who returned to Daejeon, said, “In fact, I have been factually revealing that I have dreamed of advancing to Europe from before, and it is also true.” I was a bit concerned about my physical condition while I was doing it.”

Then he said, “I consulted with my agent and went with an overseas team for off-season training. He suggested, ‘How about going there and training to improve my body?’ “he explained. 

Lee Jin-hyeon said that Korean players must adapt to their physicality and tempo in order to survive on the European stage.

He confessed, “It was a short while, but I studied and studied the European team, the atmosphere, and how these teams work, and it was a time when I also established some goals on how to develop through those areas. So it was a very beneficial time.” 

Lee Jin-hyun himself felt many things while taking on the challenge again. He said, “Certainly, I think Korean players are better or more competitive in terms of technology, but there is a difference in the physical part, such as tempo. It is because of racial differences.” 

“Of course, there will be players who don’t. Like Kim Min-jae, I think there are definitely different parts, so I think I need to develop and supplement those parts a little more to survive competitively. I think it helped me a lot when I went there.” 

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