Ex-Celtic midfielder moves for $9.5 mil.
Swansea City midfielder Ki Sung-yueng holds his shirt after completing signing to the team on Saturday (KST). He became Korea’s 10th Premier League player. / Yonhap
By Jung Min-ho
Korean footballer Ki Sung-yueng signed a three-year contract with Swansea City for a club-record fee to become the nation’s 10th English Premier League player Saturday (KST).
“When I look at Swansea I see a club that is growing and growing, and the style here is very attractive to me,” Ki said. “I think I can grow as a player here and help the club move forward.”
The 23-year-old cost Swansea a 6-million-pound ($9.5 million) transfer fee, which almost doubles the team’s record fee of 3.5 million pounds for Danny Graham a year ago, according to BBC.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup welcomed the 2012 London Olympic bronze medallist to the club and showed his great expectations for the new talent.
“He’s an important player to have in midfield,” Laudrup was quoted as saying on BBC Sport. “We lost Joe Allen (to Liverpool) so it’s important, looking at the strength of the squad, to have a dynamic player like him. The players we have signed here and the players we will sign are players that can fit into our style. He’s already played a couple of seasons in British football and that’s very important. The players who have come in from abroad have had a great start but I think experience of this kind of football is important as well.”
Ki also couldn’t conceal his joy and expressed positive prospects for his career at the Premier League with Swansea, saying “This is something I have dreamt about since I was a child - playing in the Premier League against the best players in the world. I can’t wait to play my first game.”
“Last year I watched them a lot in the Premier League and they did things very differently to a lot of the other teams,” Ki said. “They wanted to keep the ball and pass it around, which I love to do. When they didn’t have the ball they worked so hard to get it back quickly. It was very impressive.”
Although Ki was unavailable for Saturday’s game against West Ham, he showed up at the home stadium before the kick-off to greet the 20,000 fans who welcomed him with a storm of applause. At the match, Swansea thrashed the visiting team 3-0 to continue the momentum from a great victory against Queens Park Rangers on Aug. 18.
Ki is expected to make his debut performance at the League Cup competition against Barnsley on Tuesday.