Hwang Hee-chan selects BBC’s migrant team → For the first time since entering the EPL

January 3, 2024 | by

Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton Wanderers), whose stock price has soared recently, was selected as the “BBC Migrant Team” for the first time since entering the Premier League.

British public broadcaster “BBC” announced on its website on the 3rd (Korea time) the best 11 integrated rounds of the English Premier League in the 2023-24 season by football expert Gareth Crooks, calling it “Gareth Crooks’ team of migration.”

While Nottingham Forest produced four players in the 3-4-3 typical Lee Ju’s team, South Korean striker Hwang Hee-chan drew attention as he proudly listed his name.

Hwang Hee-chan first scored multiple goals in the first half of the 19th round away match at Brentford on the 28th of last month, leading to a 4-1 victory. Hwang Hee-chan, who started as a frontline striker on the day, scored an additional goal in the 14th minute of the first half while his team was leading 1-0.

It was the moment when Hwang Hee-chan’s amazing concentration shone. It was a little short that the Brentford defense gave the goalkeeper a back pass. Hwang Hee-chan, who grasped this, quickly tried to press and cut it off before the goalkeeper caught the ball. Hwang Hee-chan, who beat the goalkeeper, comfortably pushed it into the empty net to make the score 2-0. It was Hwang Hee-chan’s ninth goal in the league this season.

Brentford, which was hit by Hwang Hee-chan, recovered one goal, but Hwang Hee-chan sealed the victory in the 28th minute of the first half. After catching a long ball from the back in the 28th minute of the first half, Hwang Hee-chan calmly folded it with his right foot and kicked it towards the corner of the goal in line with the goalkeeper’s movement. With this goal, Hwang Hee-chan scored his 10th goal in the league. He scored double digits for the first time since entering the Premier League.

Hwang Hee-chan, who scored two goals on the day to achieve double-digit goals for the first time in his career in the Premier League, has also been inscribed in the history of Wolverhampton. The BBC said that Hwang has become the third player to score more than 10 Premier League goals in a single season with Wolves.

So far, only two players have scored more than 10 goals in the Premier League for Wolverhampton, Stephen Fletcher (2010/11, 2011/12) and Raul Jimenez (2018/19, 2019/20), and Hwang Hee-chan has come to stand shoulder to shoulder with them.

In particular, it was notable that Hwang Hee-chan reached the 10-goal mark faster than Fletcher and Jimenez. Fletcher scored 10 goals in 20 games in the 2011/12 season, and Jimenez also scored in double digits in his 23rd appearance in the 2019/20 season, drawing attention to Hwang Hee-chan’s scoring pace.

Some paid attention to whether Hwang Hee-chan could surpass Jimenez’s 17 goals (2019/20), the most goals scored in a season in the Wolverhampton Premier League, and was replaced just before the end of the first half of the match against Brentford.

After colliding with an opponent in an air ball competition, he lay on the ground with his hands near his waist and complained of pain. Unable to get up easily, the Wolverhampton bench started to worry. Hwang Hee-chan wrapped his face around his hands. Wolverhampton hurriedly prepared a substitute. Hwang walked out, but was unable to play anymore and left the stadium as he was replaced by Jean-Licne Velegard.

Hwang Hee-chan, who unfortunately missed the opportunity to achieve a hat trick due to injury, recovered quickly and started in the 20th round home game against Everton on the 31st of last month. Hwang Hee-chan helped his team win 3-0 at the same time as he scored his third assist of the season.

Hwang Hee-chan attempted a low cross from the right in the 8th minute of the second half, which led to Hwang Hee-chan’s help when Mateus Cunha, who rushed from the other side, pushed it in.

Hwang Hee-chan was also able to score on the day, but he was blocked by the goalpost and offside. Hwang Hee-chan, who entered the box in the 14th minute of the second half with a counterattack, attempted a left-footed shot after beating the defender in front of him, which hit the net and swallowed his regret.

In the 26th minute of the second half, he succeeded in shaking the Everton net by receiving a penetration pass from Pablo Sarabia, but the goal was not recognized as offside as the assistant referee raised the flag. In the extra time of the second half, I thought Hwang Hee-chan would record a multi-help as Pedro Netu scored a goal after receiving Hwang Hee-chan’s pass, but offside was declared once again.

Hwang Hee-chan, who scored two goals and one assist in the past two games, was included on the “BBC Migrant Team” list for the first time since entering the Premier League in recognition of his performance in the week when Boxing Day was held.

In Lee Ju’s team, Hwang Hee-chan similarly formed the front three with Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) who scored two goals and one assist in two games and Chris Wood (Nottingham Forest) who scored three goals.

Regarding the reason for selecting Hwang Hee-chan, Crooks explained, “Hwang Hee-chan’s two goals played a big role in Wolves’ 4-1 defeat of Brentford,” adding, “Wolves broke Everton in the second game of the Boxing Day period.”

“Hwang Hee-chan’s ability to run behind the defense has become a feature of his game, and Wolves makes the most of it,” he said, adding, “His finish may be better, but there is no problem with Hwang Hee-chan’s professional consciousness.”

With “Sala-Wood-Hwang Hee-chan” forming the front three, Phil Foden (Manchester City), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Modern Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest) and Michael Olis (Crystal Palace) were deployed in the midfield. Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United), Murillo (Nottingham Forest) and Maximilian Kilman (Wolverhampton Wanderers) were the defense, while Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest) was named as the goalkeeper.

Hwang Hee-chan, who entered his third season after moving from Leipzig to Wolverhampton in the German Bundesliga in the summer of 2021, is running a career high this season with his best performance without a hamstring (back thigh muscle) injury that has plagued him.

Since the opening of the 2023-2024 season, Hwang has scored 10 goals and three assists in the league alone, achieving double-digit goals for the first time since his Premier League debut. He has also scored one goal in the League Cup, marking his 11th goal of the season.

Hwang Hee-chan’s performance was enough for Wolverhampton to offer him a new contract. Wolverhampton decided to continue his companionship with Hwang Hee-chan by extending his contract to 2028, which was valid until June 2026.

Wolverhampton announced on the club’s official website on the 22nd of last month, “Wolves top scorer Hwang Hee-chan promised his future to the club by signing a new long-term contract that is valid until 2028, including a one-year extension option.”

After renewing his contract with Hwang Hee-chan, Wolverhampton general manager Matt Hobbs said, “It wasn’t always a painful voyage after Hwang Hee-chan arrived, but he always gave everything for the club,” adding, “Now the fans are truly grateful for what he does on the field, scoring goals, and playing an important part in coach Gary O’Neill’s team. What he does on and off the field deserves thanks.”

“Hwang Hee-chan’s versatility really helped O’Neill, who was playing across the front line,” Hwang said of Hwang. “He was also helped by O’Neill’s trust in him like Pedro Netu. Both of them were able to play the best soccer since they came here.”

“Hwang Hee-chan is strong like a bull mentally and physically,” Hobbs said. “If you look at his behavior on and off the field and his attitude toward football, you can see how much he is loved by the players.”

Hwang Hee-chan also couldn’t hide the joy of renewing his contract. “I’m really happy to stay here and I want to say thank you to my teammates, staff, family and fans,” he said, expressing his feelings about renewing his contract.

Hwang Hee-chan said, “I’m really happy to stay in Wolves. I’m enjoying playing here and enjoying life and soccer and everything,” adding, “I’m with very good team members and players, and everything here is amazing. I want to keep playing well and I’m ready to give everything.”

Hwang Hee-chan is known to have joined the team’s highest-paid ranks through the renewal of his contract. Fabrizio Romano, a reporter familiar with European soccer news, said, “Wolves and Hwang Hee-chan have agreed on a new deal,” adding, “With the new contract, Hwang Hee-chan will be on the same level as the highest-paid players in the club.”

According to Spotrac, which estimates soccer players’ salaries, the highest salary for Wolverhampton is Pablo Sarabia, who is currently receiving 4.68 million pounds (about 7.7 billion won). Hwang Hee-chan, who is currently receiving 30,000 pounds (about 50 million won) per week, is receiving 1.56 million pounds (about 2.6 billion won) in annual salary.

If Hwang Hee-chan receives the same salary as Sarabia, he will receive nearly three times his current salary in the future.

Meanwhile, Hwang Hee-chan was rumored to be transferred shortly after leaving his future to the team if he gets the best treatment at Wolverhampton. In particular, the news that Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, the representative powerhouses of the Premier League, were keeping an eye on Hwang Hee-chan drew attention.

“According to our information, Tottenham and Liverpool are keeping an eye on hot star player Hwang Hee-chan,” the U.K.’s Football Insider reported recently. “The two clubs are interested in taking a 27-year-old player this summer. Scouts were impressed with Hwang Hee-chan’s performance after he took on the role of striker this season. Hwang Hee-chan can play as a left and right winger and also in the center.”

“Hwang Hee-chan is scoring 11 goals in 21 games this season,” he said. “He was originally contracted until 2026, but recently rewritten the contract to extend the period to 2028.”

England’s “Team Talk” also claimed that Hwang Hee-chan is drawing attention from big clubs, saying, “Liverpool is fighting an incredible fight against Tottenham for Wolves star Hwang Hee-chan, who is enjoying the best Premier League season ever.”

However, the possibility of transfer seems low because Hwang Hee-chan recently renewed his contract with Wolverhampton. Since it has not been a month since he renewed his contract, it is expected that if Hwang Hee-chan is taken, he will need a significant transfer fee to satisfy Wolverhampton.

In response, Team Talk said, “Wolves spent 13 million pounds (about 21.7 billion won) to recruit Hwang Hee-chan in 2022,” adding, “Wolves has not yet offered an exact price tag amid growing interest in Hwang Hee-chan, but considering his current performance, it would not be surprising if the price was set at more than 40 to 50 million pounds (about 667 to 83.5 billion won).”

Still, the news that Hwang Hee-chan was connected to Tottenham and Liverpool excited Korean soccer fans 마카오토토.

Liverpool is one of the best clubs in the world, a prestigious club representing the Premier League, and is considered a strong favorite as it leads the league this season. Tottenham is also widely known as one of the Premier League powerhouses, with Son Heung-min, the captain of the Korean national soccer team, playing as the captain.

Hwang Hee-chan’s recent sensation, which is drawing attention from Premier League powerhouses as he became a key Wolverhampton striker, is blowing beyond England to Spain.

Spain’s Sport said on the 29th, “Hwang Hee-chan, the new Son Heung-min who stormed the Premier League with Wolverhampton,” adding, “After scoring two goals in the game against Brentford, the Korean player has now scored 10 goals in the league. His goals allow Wolverhampton to fall asleep peacefully in the middle of the league,” introducing that Hwang Hee-chan has emerged as the best Korean Premier Leaguer since Son Heung-min.

The media continued, “Wolverhampton’s Korean striker Hwang Hee-chan is one of the Premier League’s sensations. No one expected him in the top scoring competition, but the Korean striker has completely entered the rankings after multiple goals against Brentford.”

“He is one of the few key players at Wolverhampton right now. Hwang Hee-chan, who scored 10 Premier League goals, is definitely a sensation for Wolverhampton’s offense. His goals were key to Wolverhampton’s comfortable position in the center of the league table,” he added.

He also called Hwang Hee-chan the new Son Heung-min. “He has not been with his best partner Pedro Netu for the past few games, but he is creating a new interest with Pablo Sarabia,” the media said. “Hwang Hee-chan, who was called ‘Korean Guy’ by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, has become one of the biggest players in the Premier League this season as a ‘new Son Heung-min’.”


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