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The Hunt for Young Talent Turns to North Korea – Video

Jong Il-Gwan Shinji Okazaki (C) of Japan is challenged by Jong Il-Gwan of North Korea during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Asian 3rd Qualifier match between Japan and North Korea at Saitama Stadium on September 2, 2011 in Saitama, Japan.

Rumours have surfaced over the past few days that Newcastle United might be looking at Jong Il-Gwan, the 19 year-old North Korean striker. 

As is expected, there is not a lot of information on the internet about the young lad, but he apparently is fast-becoming a household name in Asia. 

He was born in October of 1992 somewhere in North Korea, and he currently plays as a striker for Rimyongsu in the DPR Korea League. And at the tender age of 19, he has already represented his country 13 times, scoring 2 goals along the way. 

In November of 20120 he was named the AFC Youth Player of the Year. The teenager Jong was the star of the DPR Korea team who won the AFC U19 Championship in Zibo (2010), scoring a hat-trick as his team beat Australia 3-2 in the final – he was 17 at the time.   

Due to the dubious political stance of North Korea, one is not simply able to catch a flight over to the Communist nation. Instead, we reckon that Graham Carr has scouted him during International matches, most probably against Brazil and Japan.

But he is highly regarded in his home nation, and for Newcastle to make a move like this would have huge implications on the club. Manchester United recently signed Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund to continue their Asian affiliation, in accordance with Park Ji-Sung’s imminent departure.

The Manchester club’s fanbase is huge over in Asia, and their shirt sales are boosted astronomically by their willingness to splash out on these Asian players. If Newcastle were to bring this lad in, the club would inevitably grow in popularity over there, and that is certainly a huge benefit for the ever-growing club.

This is a rumor doing the rounds on Twitter, but the news is also being reported on some web-sites. Although on paper this move seems highly unlikely, there could actually be some truth in it, with Carr and the scouting team determined to bring in some young talent to reignite the academy.

Here’s a video of the guy in action. 


What do you think?

About Harry Savill (Editor) (418 Articles)
I am the Editor of 'The Spectator's View'. I set up the website so that I could combine my two passions: Newcastle United and writing, and I hope for it to be a platform where fans can express their views on the club. History Graduate from Durham University. Junior Account Executive at M&C Saatchi.

8 Comments on The Hunt for Young Talent Turns to North Korea – Video

  1. He verry good player. I see he play Japan and he win all game on own. Special player who score goal when he want to. He cost 214,664,749.23 in North Korea. I have person live there and he tell that.

  2. That’s good news. Do you think that the Korean political situation will prevent any move from coming to fruition?

    • I no think so. There is player in Europe who is from North Korea. He move there last year. He like it there. He score goals there.

      I think person from govrement have to travel with person if he leave country. I not sure if Jong allow to travel without him. If he is then he is great player to buy.

      I have friend whoo sent me link about place in Serbia whoo want to buy Jong also. Is this true do you know Harry?

      • Okay. Yes it is true. Both PSV Eindhoven (Holland) and FC Partizan (Serbia) have also been linked with the guy but surely Newcastle are the most appealing club to go to?!

        Do you mean Pak Kwang-Ryong? Yeah, he’s currently at Basel and he’s apparently a good young player as well.

  3. Kevin Foley // June 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm // Reply

    From what I’ve read around the internet it seems that he is on the verge of signing for Partizan Belgrade. They are offering €1.5 million for him.

    Would we be able to spend that much on him? He seems like a great talent, and his goals in that video are impressive, but at the end of the day he’s a very raw talent. I’d love to see him here, but is it realistic?

  4. That’s a lot of money for unproven talent. He’s done well in the North Korean League but to spend that much money on a player as young as him, it would be contradictory to Alan Pardew’s transfer policy.

    However, he’s certainly someone we should have a look at. It’s a very interesting move and he could make huge improvements to our fan base and make Newcastle United a household name in Asia!

  5. Kevin Foley // June 7, 2012 at 11:43 pm // Reply

    I agree it’s a lot of money. Hopefully the other clubs lose interest in him. At least we have the prospect of European football next year and he seems very interested in that.

    It’d be great if he moved. He mightn’t attract as much interest as someone like Park Ji Sung, but he’d surely get some Asian reporters over following his every move. The more interest the better :).

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