Arsenal are reportedly interested in Hwang Hee-chan. Wolverhampton are expected to push for a re-signing to avoid losing a key player.
“Hwang Hee-chan is one of the most sought-after players in the Premier League (PL) at the moment. Arsenal are also keeping an eye on him.”
However, the British ‘The Athletic’ reported on the same day that “Wolverhampton are in talks with Hwang over a new contract. Hwang’s existing contract expires in the summer of 2026. However, he has developed into a key player for the team this season and Wolverhampton are keen to reward him with a contract extension.”
The outlet continued, “Negotiations are progressing well. Both the club and the player are positive about staying, and Hwang is enjoying playing under Gary O’Neill. If the terms are right, the deal will be finalized. Hwang joined Wolverhampton on loan in the summer of 2021 and completed a full transfer the following January.”
In response to the news, ‘As’ reported, “Wolverhampton will push to re-sign Hwang Hee-chan to block interest from potential suitors. Because of this, Arsenal’s chances of signing Hwang Hee-chan have decreased.”레모나토토 주소
Hwang joined Wolverhampton on loan from RB Leipzig ahead of the 2021-22 season. Hwang began to show signs of improvement at Salzburg (Austria), where he played alongside Elling Holland (Manchester City) and Takumi Minamino (AS Monaco) and made his presence felt in the UEFA Champions League (UCL).
This led to a move to Leipzig. Both Salzburg and Leipzig had been acquired by Red Bull, so there was more freedom to move players around. Hwang Hee-chan also wore a Leipzig jersey with high hopes. However, a combination of bad news, including a COVID-19 infection, hampered his conditioning and he struggled to compete for a starting spot.
In the end, Hwang opted for a loan spell at Wolverhampton to change things up. The first impression was a strong one. He came on as a substitute against Watford in his PL debut and scored his debut goal, making him a fan favorite. He had some injury setbacks during the season, but overall, he didn’t do too badly. In 30 league appearances (20 starts, 10 substitutions), he scored five goals and provided one assist.
This led to a full transfer. The transfer fee was £14 million, but he had a relatively disappointing first half of last season. Once again, injuries hampered him. Luckily, things turned around in the second half. At the time, Wolverhampton were struggling and had fallen to the bottom of the league, leading to the sacking of manager Bruno Raz. Julen Lopetegui was appointed in his place, and he used Hwang Hee-chan heavily.
However, that didn’t last long. Just before the start of the season, there was another twist. Lopetegui abruptly relinquished the reins, citing Wolverhampton’s inaction in the transfer market and the friction it caused with the club. Wolverhampton were struggling financially. Because of this, they needed to sell players to make money in order to comply with the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
In the end, Wolverhampton decided to let go of a number of their existing resources, including Mateusz Nunes, Nabil Neves, Joao Moutinho, Nathan Collins, Raul Jimenez, and Adama Traore. Wolverhampton’s total spending was in the neighborhood of £140 million. However, amidst the departures, reinforcements have not been forthcoming. Aside from Mateusz Cunha, who had already joined on loan last season, they didn’t bring in any immediate power.
Lopetegui decided to leave, and O’Neill was hastily appointed in his place. With the change of manager, Hwang had to fight for a starting spot again. In the early days, his position seemed to be narrowed. He played mostly as a substitute. However, she did her best with the playing time she was given and gradually gained the trust of her new coach.
Hwang’s first goal of the season came relatively quickly. It came in the second round of the Premier League (PL) against Brighton. It didn’t end there. He opened the scoring against Crystal Palace in September, the last game before the international break. Then, after returning from his South Korean National Team commitments, he started against Liverpool and opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Ten days later, he scored his fourth goal of the season in the League Cup.
However, Hwang’s goals have yet to translate into victories for Wolverhampton. Wolverhampton had won one and lost four of their first five league games. In their only win, against Everton, Hwang failed to find the back of the net. Hwang also scored in the League Cup, but it was in a 2-3 replay loss to Ipswich.
In late September, Wolverhampton faced Manchester City, the defending champions, and scored the winning goal in the 21st minute. At the time, Wolverhampton had taken the lead 13 minutes into the first half on an own goal. Pedro Neto’s cross found its way to the back of the net, where it was headed home by Ruben Dias. From then on, the defense stood tall and kept City at bay.
However, they conceded the equalizer in the 13th minute of the second half through Julian Alvarez. Alvarez rattled the net from a free kick. But it was Wolverhampton who came out on top, and it was Hwang Hee-chan who scored the winner. In the 21st minute of the second half, Nelson Semedo sent in a cross from the right and Hwang rushed onto the ball, but his shot was blocked by the defense. Mateusz Cunha then played the ball back to Hwang, who slotted it home. It was a thrilling 2-1 win for Wolverhampton.
The game was highlighted by an incident with Pep Guardiola. Before the game, Guardiola said, “I remember always having a tough game against Wolverhampton. They have great players,” Guardiola said before the game, adding that he was wary of Wolverhampton.
“Especially Neto, Cunha and the Korean guy,” Guardiola continued, “they are strikers with a great level of quality. There was a bit of controversy when he didn’t get Hwang Hee-chan’s name right. Fans reacted by saying, “If you said the other players’ names correctly, why did you only say ‘Korean Guy’?”, “If that’s the case, Neto should have said ‘Portuguese Guy’!”, and “I hope Hwang Hee-chan scored a goal in this match.”
Hwang then scored the winning goal against Guardiola’s Man City to give Wolverhampton the victory. After the game, Guardiola said, “Wolverhampton played really well. They were very good defensively, and the strikers like Hwang, Cunha, and Neto were also very strong, protecting the ball in front of them, creating shots, and dribbling through the defense,” he said, referring to Hwang as “Hwang” himself.
Hwang has continued his strong start to the season. In particular, he has been showing off his sharp side in the doorway. In mid-October, he was ranked first in the goal conversion rate index, which was officially highlighted by the PL Secretariat. “Hwang Hee-chan has been the sharpest in front of goal among the league’s top scorers this season,” the PL Secretariat said at the time.
It looked at players who had scored five or more goals at that point in time to see what percentage of their shots were converted into goals. The likes of Elling Holland and Son Heung-min were on the list. Holland was at 25% and Son at 26.1%. That’s one goal for every four shots. Hwang Hee-chan topped the list with a 41.7% goal conversion rate.
Now a key player for Wolverhampton, Hwang also made club history. He made his mark in late October in a match between Wolverhampton and Newcastle United. He scored his sixth league goal of the season, breaking his own single-season PL record, and became the first player in club history to score in six consecutive games at home. It was also the first time in 50 years that a team had scored six goals in their opening 10 games.
Hwang said: “It’s an honor to achieve these records as a Wolverhampton player. I hope to score more goals in the future. My goals have come from teamwork. We are training really hard to understand each other. I don’t think it was actually a penalty, but I gave it away anyway. But my teammates kept believing in me, and I wanted to live up to that.”
The performance also boosted his market value according to soccer statistics site TransferMarkt. Currently, Hwang’s contract is worth €18 million (approximately KRW 25.5 billion). Before the new contract was renewed, he was worth €12 million, an increase of €6 million. Hwang first broke the €10 million mark in June 2018, when he was playing for Salzburg. Since then, his earnings have risen and fallen, peaking at €15 million from March to June 2022. It then dropped a bit, but rose again in October.
Wolverhampton is currently in 12th place in the league after 12 rounds of the PL. They had a bit of a rough start to the season, but seem to be finding some stability now. It’s not too late in the season for them to climb up to the mid-table. They are only five or six points away from the sixth and seventh spots with a European qualification spot at stake.
Hwang is currently playing the November A-match schedule. Hwang’s team, Klinsmann, faced Singapore on the 16th and won 5-0. They will now face China on the 21st. When Hwang returns to Wolverhampton Wanderers after the A-match, he will travel to Fulham on the 28th. He will then travel to Arsenal on the 3rd of next month.
So far this year, they have a tight schedule with games every three to four days. After facing Arsenal, Wolverhampton travel to Burnley and Nottingham Forest. There are eight games left before the final game in December against Everton. After that, the team will have about three weeks off, and Hwang is likely to be called up for the Asian Cup. As good as Hwang has been, Wolverhampton need to pick up as many points as possible before the new year.