Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Defender Lee Han-beom (21-FC Seoul) 스포츠토토is finding it difficult to leave the team he played for in the European big leagues until last season.

The German ‘Schalke Inside’ reported on the 19th (KST), “Lee Han-beom is currently unavailable for transfer. Therefore, we will not sign him,” said the club’s summer transfer window.

Schalke finished 17th in the German Bundesliga in 2022-23 and were relegated to the second division for the 2023-24 season. Lee is ranked as the No. 1 ball-playing centre-back in the 2023 K League 1 by American data firm Asian Football Analytics Zone, based on data from football talent search firm WeScout.

WeScout is a football talent search company founded in Italy by American company Agile Sports Technology. It sends more than 80 people around the world to evaluate players and matches. It has strong capabilities in video analytics and digital databases.

Schalke’s 30-minute appearance in the away leg of the 22nd round of the 2021-22 German second division was the first and last official appearance by a South Korean. There have been 20 South Korean players who have played in the German second division.

Lee played full-time at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, helping South Korea reach the quarter-finals. He will also be part of the men’s football schedule for the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games, which starts on 19 September.

The head of Asian player analysis and recruitment consultancy at Portuguese football company ProScout described Lee as “an A-class player who can easily play at any level” and recommended him as “a Korean player to consider signing”.

In an article published in the Italian edition of football publication One Football, talent agency Youth Scouting described Lee as “Korea’s biggest central defensive talent who could follow Kim Min-jae (27-Bayern Munich) to Europe. A dominant ball-possession centre-back”.

The members of the Professional Football Scouts Association (PFSA) Turkiye have been watching Lee since the 2019 U-17 World Cup. In the summer of 2022, they called him “Korea’s best central defender since Kim Min-jae”, and in June 2023, they predicted that he “has great potential and will move to Europe sooner rather than later”.

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