Lee Kang-In completes Premier League switch
Valencia announced this evening that highly rated wonderkid Lee Kang-In would be making the switch to join Premier League side Arsenal. The 20 year old struggled to feature for the first team last season, with no natural place in the tactics employed by incoming coach Sie Barlow, and with the club struggling financially a move was felt to be in the best interests of all parties. The lucrative switch, thought to be worth in the region of at least £20 million and rising, will see the South Korean international potentially team up once again with Emile Smith Rowe, who also returns to parent club Arsenal this summer after a successful loan spell with Valencia.
Kang-In, who can play across midfield and in more attacking roles, initially joined Valencia way back in 2011 as an academy trainee, eventually progressing to the B team in 2017, making his debut that December. His first start came just a few months later, with his first goal a few months after that. In late October 2018 he made the switch to join the senior set-up, appearing in a Copa del Rey tie, in turn becoming the youngest Korean footballer to debut professionally in Europe. In early 2019, Kang-In then also made his La Liga debut, becoming the second youngest player to debut that season, as well as the youngest ever non-Spaniard and first ever Asian league debutant for his club.
In the curtailed 2019/20 season, Kang-In was considered a first team regular, including appearances in the Champions League and also grabbing his first ever La Liga goal against Getafe. His fine form saw him also break into the national team ranks with Korea. However, since the arrival of Barlow opportunities have been limited, with Kang-In making just 7 appearances in La Liga, all from the bench, scoring once. He also featured for the B team once more, chalking up 7 goals in 14 games, form which kept him on the radar of some of the bigger clubs around Europe. With Valencia looking to try and rebuild this summer, the club set to compete on more fronts following qualification for Europe, allowing Kang-In to move made sense, and the player himself will certainly be keen to flourish in the Premier League. The relationship between both clubs, cemented by the loan deal for Smith Rowe last season, also helped an agreement being reached.Share this: