Son Heung-min headlines Korea Republic’s provisional WC squad

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Tottenham star Son Heung-min is the headline act in the 28-man provisional squad that Korea Republic have released ahead of next month’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Son, who has emerged as a genuine global star since moving to Tottenham three years ago, is expected to play a key role if the South Koreans are to have any chance of advancing from a Group F, which also includes Germany, Mexico and Sweden.

Other famous names in Shin Tae-yong’s 28-man list – which will have to be trimmed to 23 by June 4 – include captain Ki Sung-yueng, who just parted ways with recently-relegated Premier League outfit Swansea, FC Augsburg midfielder Koo Ja-cheol and Dijon’s rising star Kwon Chang-hoon.

Also among the Taegeuk Warriors’ seven Europe-based players is uncapped 20-year-old Lee Seung-woo, who was formerly on the books of Barcelona but has impressed in Serie A this season with Hellas Verona.

As expected, reigning K League 1 champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are the best-represented side with four players called up, including target-man Kim Shin-wook and midfield schemer Lee Jae-sung.

However, Japan’s J1 League is also well-represented with five names in the squad, while the Chinese Super League can lay claim to contributing centre-backs Kim Young-gwon and Kwon Kyung-won of Guangzhou Evergrande and Tianjin Quanjian respectively.

Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu (Vissel Kobe), Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo Osaka), Cho Hyun-woo (Daegu FC)

Defenders: Kim Young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Jang Hyun-soo (FC Tokyo), Park Joo-ho (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Jin-su, Lee Yong (both Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Go Yo-han (FC Seoul), Kim Min-woo, Hong Chul (both Sangju Sangmu), Yun Young-sun (Seongnam FC), Kwon Kyung-won (Tianjin Quanjian), Jung Seung-hyun (Sagan Tosu), Oh Ban-suk (Jeju United)

Midfielders: Ki Sung-yueng (unattached), Lee Chung-yong (Crystal Palace), Koo Ja-cheol (FC Augsburg), Lee Jae-sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Jung Woo-young (Vissel Kobe), Kwon Chang-hoon (Dijon), Ju Se-jong (Asan Mugunghwa), Lee Seung-woo (Hellas Verona), Moon Seon-min (Incheon United)

Forwards: Lee Keun-ho (Gangwon FC), Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Kim Shin-wook (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Hwang Hee-chan (Red Bull Salzburg)

Standby list: Gu Sung-yun (Consadole Sapporo), Choi Chul-soon, Son Jun-ho (both Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Lee Myung-joo (Asan Mugunghwa), Lee Chang-min (Jeju United), Ji Dong-won (Darmstadt 98), Suk Hyun-jun (Troyes)