In this Sept. 2, 2007 file photo,Seol Ki-hyun, looks around Fulham's Craven Cottage stadium after moving to the English Premier League side. Seol moved to Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal Wednesday on an initial six-month loan. / Korea Times File
By Kim Jae-won
South Korean Seol Ki-hyun has moved from English Premier League (EPL) side Fulham to Saudi Arabian club Al-Hila, his agent announced Wednesday.
The two teams agreed the loan transfer on Tuesday and Seol will stay in the Middle East until Jun. 30.
If both parties are satisfied by the end of the loan period, it is likely the move will be made permanent.
Seol will make his debut against Al-Watany Jan. 19 if he passes a medical in time.
Al-Hilal is a professional football club based in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, and was the champion of the Saudi Arabia League in the 2007-08 season.
Club bosses see Seol as a key addition to their squad as they bid to reclaim the national title and compete in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League. The striker will become the first Korean to play in the Saudi league.
Seol started his career in Europe with Belgian cracks Royal Antwerp in July 2000. He became a Reading player in 2006, entering the big time as the Berkshire outfit joined the EPL. He then moved to fellow EPL side Fulham in September 2007, and has appeared in four matches this season.
He scored in the first game of the campaign against Hull City, but failed to hold down a regular starting place as strikers Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson came back from injury. He has not featured since October.
"I'm waiting for a team that is interested in Seol," Fulham manager Roy Hodgson said last Saturday, effectively signaling the end of the player's time with the West London team.