Remember Woo-Yeong Jeong, the effervescent South Korean youth international who played for Bayern ll and made a few appearances for the Bayern first team? The talent many touted to be a future star? Jeong transferred to SC Freiburg this summer in a move that came as a surprise to many, since Bayern was expected to loan him out at most, keeping his quality and skill in mind.
Nevertheless, Jeong is now plying his trade for SC Freiburg, where he has scored 2 goals in 3 appearances for the U-23’s. Playing time in the Bundesliga, though, has thus far eluded him. In an interview with Kicker (via TZ) Freiburg sporting director Klemens Hartenbach gave his thoughts on Jeong’s development:
Jeong still has physical deficits. The youngster must improve his physique and robustness, especially required when he’s on the ball.
The management at Freiburg understands that Jeong has a lot of talent, but they believe that he is not yet at the level of physical fitness demanded by the Bundesliga. Hartenbach further said,
He must try to work on his physicality. With the hype in the home [in Korea], it’s not easy for Woo-Yeong to keep his patience.
The Bundesliga is a very physically demanding league, so this might just be the case that Jeong needs to “bulk up” a bit more to meet the requirements set for wingers when having to face towering, stocky defenders like Mats Hummels, Salif Sané, or our very own Niklas Süle.
Jeong has a huge fan following all over South Korea, after making headlines last season when he scored 13 goals for Bayern ll in the Regionalliga. From the start of the Rückrunde, a South Korean television team accompanied him at every home game. Sure, Jeong is a great talent and can hit the spotlight with time, but rushing him could do more damage than good. If he improves physically and turns out to be a world beater, who knows? Maybe we could sign him back! Bayern inserted a buy-back clause in his contract for precisely that reason, after all.
P.S. On a less serious note, I guess he could take lessons from our very own big boy Süle on how to bulk up. Döner for lunch with a tub of fries and a glass of Weissbier could do the job!