Two Parks likely to leave teams after season
By Kang Seung-woo
Manchester United’s Park Ji-sung and Arsenal’s Park Chu-young are reportedly approaching the twilight of their spell at their respective English clubs.
The United midfielder is making headlines that he will be one of the high-profile casualties under manager Alex Ferguson’s plan to shake up his aging squad, while the Gunners has recently added German striker Lukas Podolski at the forefront, a sign that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will wave Park goodbye.
The Daily Star, a British newspaper, broke the news that United will part ways with the 31-year-old Korean, and that Ferguson is keen to sell him rather than see him leave for nothing in 2013. Park, who joined the English outfit in 2005, signed an extension last summer that will keep him at Old Trafford until the end of next season.
“Fergie is keen to strengthen his aging side and Park will be one of the casualties,” it said.
Since the beginning of this season, he has not figured into Ferguson’s plans, appearing in only 17 league matches.
Besides, Park has recently spent most of his time on the bench out of Ferguson’s favor due to a deep player pool before being called to the starting line-up against title-race rival Manchester City earlier this week — his first league start for three months. Park, who has had a slow start to each season, has been a great servant to Ferguson on the high-stakes stage against strong rivals and his big-match pedigree earned him a place in the best 11.
However, the playmaker, well off the pace due to few appearances on the pitch, struggled in what may have been the final chance to impress his manager.
After the Manchester derby defeat, Park has made headlines that forecast his days with the 19-time league champion are numbered, with Ferguson expected to reorganize his roster.
As for the Arsenal forward, he is not likely to return to the London-based team.
The English outfit that is currently sitting third on the table Monday landed Germany international Podolski to back up striker Robin van Persie, as it did with Park last summer.
Arsenal acquired the 26-year-old Korean with hopes that the former Monaco attacker would add true quality to the attacking line up and be a valuable addition to the squad.
But he has been a nonfactor in the English outfit.
Park made five combined appearances at the Carling Cup and Champions League, but he was on the field for only five minutes during his lone Premier league appearance against United.
“Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-young are expected to leave the club this summer, and if they don’t, they really should. Neither can get a game with just Van Persie in front of them, so surely they won’t be much use next season,” said English media, Here is the City, on Friday.
As a matter of fact, Park has reportedly told coaching staff he wants to leave, confirming a possible end to his one-year tenure with the Gunners.