Park Chu-young left high and dry
Korea was not included among the destinations for Arsenal’s Asia tour this summer, casting further doubts on the future of Park Chu-young at the North London club.
Arsenal confirmed Tuesday that they will start their tour in Malaysia, playing against a Malaysia XI on July 24 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. This is the Gunners’ second trip to Malaysia after a match there last year.
Then they will head to Beijing on July 27 to take part in the China Cup against Manchester City and then to Hong Kong on July 29 to face Kitchee FC.
The likelihood of finding Park’s name on the squad list seems low. He was again among the substitutes for the 3-0 defeat of Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday. Since transferring from Lille OSC last summer he has spent most of the time warming the bench.
With the Korea international seeing little time on the field, rumors have spread he may leave Arsenal at the end of the season. If named to Korea’s Olympic squad as a wild card pick at the London Games this summer Park would not feature in Arsenal’s Asian tour as the dates clash. This could add to the speculation that the forward is surplus to requirements at the Emirates Stadium.
Although he has drawn little attention from his manager or from English fans, some media have kept their eye on Park despite his role as a replacement for almost the entire season. Bleacher Report, an America-based digital sports media network, described the Arsenal’s deal with the 26-year-old striker Tuesday as “The most baffling summer purchase in the entire Premier League.”
Both domestically and internationally, Park has proved many times that he can find the net.
Korean fans are becoming tired of seeing the budding striker sitting on the bench. The chance for him to show what he really can do on the pitch is long overdue.
The writer is an intern for The Korea Times.