Kim Ji-soo (19-Seongnam FC), a large center back born in 2004, is close to joining English Premier League (EPL) side Brentford.
“Brentford have reached a full agreement with Seongnam FC to sign South Korean center back Kim Ji-soo, born in 2004,” Fabrizio Romano, a journalist specializing in football market transfers, said on social networking services (SNS) on the 17th (Korean time), adding his signature phrase ‘Here we go’ to announce the completion of negotiations and confirmation of the transfer.안전놀이터
Photo credit=Korea Professional Football Association
Kim Ji-soo received an official offer from EPL club Brentford last month. Brentford reportedly offered a buyout ($700,000) and a sell-on clause to sign Kim Ji-soo. The Seongnam club also said, “It is true that an offer has been made for Kim Ji-soo. If they offer more than the buyout amount, we will have to let him go.”
The variable was work permits. Kim has no experience with the A team. The general consensus was that work commitments are not easy to come by. Some speculated that Kim could be sent on loan to the Danish league or the Portuguese second division due to the work permit issue. However, with the recent relaxation of the A-match criteria for prospects, the work permit issue was resolved smoothly and the negotiations between the two clubs went well.
Photo credit=Korean Professional Football Association
Seongnam FC owner Shin Sang-jin and Kim Ji-soo, the mayor of Seongnam, cheer for the team. Source=Seongnam Mayor Shin Sang-jin’s social media
Kim Ji-soo’s transfer was announced by Seongnam’s owner, Mayor Shin Sang-jin, who made it “official” via Facebook. On April 14, Shin wrote, “Kim Ji-soo, a former player of Pungseng High School, visited the mayor of Seongnam upon his return from Argentina today after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Kim Ji-soo will leave the country next week to join Brentford, a club in the English top division, the EPL,” and within three days, a ‘semi-official’ report appeared through foreign media.
Kim Ji-soo, who has been touted as the “next Kim Min-jae” and has attracted interest from the likes of Bayern Munich and Sporting Lisbon, made his mark on the world stage at the U-20 World Cup in Argentina, where he played as Kim Eun-jung-ho’s starting center back. With his dominant physicality (1.92-84kg), one-on-one combat, aerial ball control, and soccer acumen, Kim started every game from the group stage to the third and fourth place matches, helping South Korea secure a second consecutive quarterfinal appearance and earning a spot in the tournament’s Best 11. Last year, while still at Pungseng High School, Kim Ji-soo became Seongnam’s first semi-professional player, earning praise from former Jeonbuk Hyundai coach Kim Sang-sik, who led Team K-League in the All-Star Game, saying he reminded him of Kim Min-jae.
He will be the first South Korean teenager to make the jump from the K League 2 to the Premier League. Brentford, based in London, England, finished the 2022-2023 season in ninth place in the EPL with 15 wins, 14 draws, and 9 losses (59 points). After finishing third in the English Championship (second division) in the 2020-2021 season, the club made the promotion playoffs and won promotion to the Premier League, where they have remained with a steady run of form.