Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Riyadh: Former AFC Youth Player for the Year Park Chu-young has returned to Asia in a bid to reignite his career after a disappointing three-year spell at English Premiership side Arsenal, with the 29-year-old striker joining Saudi Arabian side Al Shabab on a one-year deal.
Park joined Arsenal after two seasons with French side Monaco in 2011 but failed to force his way into the first team at the Emirates and after loan spells at Celta Vigo – where he became the first Korean to score in Spain's La Liga – and Watford in the English Championship, the Gunners opted not to renew the contract of the former FC Seoul striker.
Despite his limited club football Park was included in Korea Republic's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup but he failed to make an impact in what was overall a disappointing display in Brazil from the Taeguek Warriors.
And with Uli Stielike recently replacing Hong Myung-bo as manager of the Korea Republic national team Park will be hoping regular action in the Saudi Professional League can catch the eye of the former Qatar-based coach with the 2015 AFC Asian Cup fast approaching.
Park is unlikely to fall of the radar of former West Germany international Stielike, who was at the helm of Doha side Al Arabi prior to taking charge of Korea Republic, with a quartet of regular Korean internationals already at clubs in the Gulf.
Defender Kwak Tae-hi and midfielder Lee Myung-joo play for Shabab's Riyadh rivals Al Hilal and Al Ain of the UAE respectively – with the duo recently squaring off against each other in the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League – while Han Kook-young and Nam Tae-hee ply their trade in the Qatar Stars League with Qatar Sports Club and Lekhwiya.