FC Seoul have announced the signing of former star Park Chu-young on a three-year deal.
After scoring just one goal in seven matches for Al-Shabab, the former K-League Rookie of the Year was unsuccessfully touted to clubs in Europe before the Saudi giants terminated his contract after reportedly being deemed expendable.
The 29-year-old is a maligned figure in Korea for his attempts to bypass his mandatory two-year military service duties as well as his lack of output in the last few years since his ill-fated move to Arsenal, with stops at Monaco, Celta de Vigo, and Watford also proving fruitless.
He made a name for himself as an 18-year-old at FC Seoul in 2005, bursting onto the scene with 18 goals and being named the K-League’s Best Young Player.
After being controversially selected by then-manager Hong Myung-bo in Korea’s 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, Park failed to fire in Brazil. He’s featured little since Uli Stielike took charge of the national team, missing selection for the recent AFC Asian Cup in Australia, in which Korea made the final after the German coach said he was “worried about [Park’s] lack of goals.”
The signing is not just good news for the player, but also for FC Seoul who have seen star strikers Dejan Damjanovic and Sergio Escudero depart for China in the last two seasons.
While it is too late to register Park for the group stages of the AFC Champions League, he will link up with his teammates immediately and could make his K League Classic return as early as this weekend when FC Seoul host title favourites Jeonbuk Hyundai.
The striker returns to his former club as the second-highest earner, behind Colombian winger Mauricio Molina. FC Seoul manager Choi Yong-soo also played alongside Park in 2006, serving as an assistant coach before retiring from his playing career.