10/10, it was literally ‘golden homecoming’.
After the 2022-2023 season, Lee Kang-in (22-Real Mallorca) returned home via Incheon International Airport on 7 July. He arrived wearing a light blue T-shirt and a pink cap. He was greeted by a large number of fans as he has been enjoying the highest stock price recently. After greeting the fans, Lee immediately got into a waiting vehicle and drove away. As he left the arrivals hall, he received letters from some fans.토토사이트
It was a season that needs no explanation. He played 2840 minutes in 36 games (33 starts) in the Spanish Primera Liga, scoring six goals and providing six assists. He became the first Korean player to reach double-digit attacking points in La Liga. Lee Kang-in was nominated for the Primera Liga’s Team of the Year for the 2022-2023 season on 2 March. Although he did not win the award, it was the first time a South Korean player has been nominated for Team of the Year. On 28 April, he was also voted Best Goal of the 30th round of La Liga. Lee received a whopping 65 per cent of the vote, beating out Rafa Mir, Alexis Sanchez, Cento and Ferrantores. Lee scored the winner against Getafe in second-half stoppage time after sprinting 70 metres. It was reminiscent of Son Heung-min’s goal against Burnley, which won him the Pushkas award. Lee is the first South Korean player to win the Goal of the Round award. Lee was also nominated for the April Player of the Month award. This is also the first time a Korean player has been nominated for Player of the Month.
Lee’s unique skills have been enhanced this season. The records speak for themselves. Lee has 90 successful dribbles this season. That’s the fourth highest number of successful dribbles in Europe’s top five leagues. In La Liga alone, he’s second only to Vinicius Junior. His success rate is even more impressive. 68 per cent. That’s a huge number. Even the great Lionel Messi is in the 50s, so you can see how good Lee is at dribbling. His key passes and chances created are also among the best in the league.
Lee’s performances also helped Mallorca to get a better than expected result. They finished ninth. Although they failed to reach the seventh spot, which would have qualified them for the European club competition, they finished in the top 10. It’s a remarkable achievement considering they were initially tipped for the relegation zone. At the centre of it all was Lee Kang-in, who received a relay of praise from the Spanish media. Spain’s Apición Deportiva gave Lee a season rating of 10. A perfect score. “He has been the key to Mallorca’s success. He has had a brilliant season, showing his quality in every game,” while the Mallorca Daily Bulletin said he was “Mallorca’s best player this season and irreplaceable”. Marca named Lee in their best 11 in La Liga this season based on fantasy game points. He was up there with the likes of Vinicius, Lewandowski and Griezmann. Lee was also named in Marca’s Silver Eleven, the second team of the season. The likes of Benzema, Douglas, and Kamabinga were also named.
Now, all eyes are on Lee’s future. Lee is set to leave Mallorca this summer. First up was the ‘captain’s final’. Mallorca president Pablo Ortells told radio station Ondaçero: “We have decided to let Lee go this summer. We will use the money to buy the players the coach wants.” The Spanish media also confirmed the speculation. “The greatest player of the last decade for Mallorca will say goodbye to the club after the final game of the season,” said OK Diario, “and the club is already looking for his replacement. ‘Time to say goodbye to the wizard,’ said Football de Mallorca.
Bids have been coming in for Lee, who has been at the top of his game. Atletico Madrid are leading the chase, followed by Real Betis in La Liga, Napoli and AC Milan in Serie A, and Manchester United, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Burnley, Brighton and Wolverhampton in the English Premier League. His buyout clause is said to be €20 million. Mallorca are willing to pay at least €18 million. This would be the second highest transfer fee in Mallorca”s history. The English clubs have the advantage when it comes to money, but it seems likely that Lee will stay in La Liga, where he”s perfectly suited. Atletico Madrid and Betis are both in the running for the European club title, so it’s not as if they don’t have options.
Lee’s buyout clause is said to be €20 million. Mallorca believe they can get at least €18 million for him. This is the second highest transfer fee in Mallorca’s history. Mallorca want to get rid of him quickly and rebuild. The bidding war for Lee has begun.
After a short break, Lee will play two international friendlies against Peru on the 16th and El Salvador on the 20th. Lee came on as a 15th-minute substitute in Jürgen Klinsmann’s first test against Colombia in March and started and played the full 90 minutes against Uruguay, hinting at a possible future role under Klinsmann.