Who is the 18-year-old North Korean striker that Arsenal and Everton are monitoring?
The summer transfer window may have closed just a matter of days ago but the speculation for January is already underway, with Arsenal and Everton vying for a young North Korean prospect.
The Sun claim that the Premier League rivals are monitoring the situation of Han Kwang-song following the 18-year-old’s breakthrough in Italy, with both sides keen on adding attacking depth.
Ronald Koeman’s side in particular are keeping an eye following their failure to find a suitable replacement for Romelu Lukaku this summer, with Malaga’s Sandro Ramirez their only striking addition.
Who is Han Kwang-song?
Born in the North Korean capital Pyongyang in 1998, Han moved to Italy and joined Cagliari’s academy in early 2017 – after a successful trial – which saw him make a move from local side Chobyang Sports Club.
Despite being relatively unknown and unproven in European football he was awarded his Serie A debut in April during a 3-1 win over Palermo, scoring his first goal against Torino seven days later.
In finding the back of the net he became the first North Korean player to ever score in the Italian top-flight, and he earnt himself a new five-year deal at Cagliari that will keep him there until 2022.
Han has since been sent out on-loan to Serie B outfit Perugia this season, already scoring four times in just two appearances for them, including an opening day of the season hat-trick against Virtus Entella.
The 18-year-old has also been part of the North Korean national set-up for a few years now, featuring for the Under-17 and Under-19 sides before his debut for the national side this year.
Does he have the potential to succeed in the Premier League?
Based on his start to life in European football, absolutely.
Despite only play a handful of games since moving to Italy he’s already shown that he has superb close ball control, the natural ability to dribble and drive at defenders with intent and a neat eye for goal.
His hat-trick in his first Serie B outing for Perugia displayed all of the characteristics desired in a young, budding forward, showing a quick turn of pace and an excellent composure when in and around the box.
Whilst he evidently wouldn’t arrive in the Premier League and immediately jump into either side’s starting eleven, there’s certainly enough early potential there to continue his education in England. You can bet upcoming English top flight games with NetBet Sport Live Betting.
How likely is a move to England?
The report claims that both Arsenal and Everton have already sent scouts over to Italy to watch the North Korean in action in recent months with the wheels firmly in motion ahead of a potential move next year.
The lure of the Premier League will undoubtedly stand strong when compared to staying at Serie A strugglers Cagliari, and Han could find it tough to turn down any bids should either side come calling.
Yet, with Italian giants Juventus also showing a keen interest in the teenage striker, there could be fierce competition to come in future transfer windows, and it will be interesting to see how his season unfolds.