FC Seoul defender Lee Han-beom (21), who has been named to the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games squad, is set to make a move to Europe.

On the 25th, multiple sources in the football industry said, “Lee Han-beom is transferring to Mittwilan (Denmark), known as the team of Cho Kyu-sung. It is understood that the agreement between the club and the individual has been finalised to some extent.”

스포츠토토Lee has consistently expressed his desire to play in Europe, and Europe has consistently beckoned to him. Several clubs in England’s second tier have recently shown interest in the Korean player, but negotiations have stalled over issues such as transfer fees. Then, just over a week before the European transfer window closed, Mittwillan’s move to Europe came to a head with a huge transfer fee of nearly 2 billion won. Mittwillan had reportedly been ‘following’ the South Korean striker before and after he signed for Jeonbuk this summer.

Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) is virtually the only South Korean centre-back in history to make a move to Europe for a fee in excess of £2 billion. Kim joined Fenerbahçe from Beijing Guoan in the summer of 2021 for a fee of €3 million, and within two years he had become a €50 million player at one of Europe’s biggest clubs, Les Bleus. Lee Han-beom is hoping to follow in Kim Min-jae’s footsteps.

Photo: Meetwillan SNS
The impact of losing a key defender at a time when Seoul are making a last-ditch effort to qualify for the Asian Champions League will be significant. However, the club has decided to support Lee Han-beom, who is expected to become a regular centre-back for the national team in the future, in his quest to become a bigger player. In addition, Seoul made a number of reinforcements ahead of the season, including the loan signing of Kwon Wan-kyu from Seongnam, who has played over 200 K League games. Currently, Kwon Wan-kyu, Hwang Hyun-soo, and Kang Sang-hee are in the line-up. Veteran Jung Hyun-chul, a defensive midfielder, can also play centre-back. The void may not be as big as expected.

Lee Han-beom, who joined Seoul in 2021 from Boyango, established himself as a key centre-back under former coach Ahn Ik-soo. After starting 10 league games in his first season, Lee played 23 in 2022 despite a string of injuries. This season, he has started 18 games so far as Kim Joo-sung’s centre-back partner. At 1.88m, Lee is considered to have good aerial presence and excellent ball control. His forward passes into the attacking third are excellent.

It is unclear whether Lee will play a farewell game at home against Ulsan in Round 28, scheduled for the 27th. Mittwilan, who have already started the new season, are reportedly hoping for Lee’s quick return to the team. The Korean ‘handsome duo’ will be available to Meatwillan from mid-September when Cho Kyu-sung returns from his current hamstring injury. Lee will compete for Europe at the Asian Games, which begin in September, and will be looking for gold.

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