Hi Park Ji Sung! - Chung Sung-Jun
The QPR connection is at it once again this time with the name Ji Sung Park being very loosely linked to Toronto FC. Far too early to suggest anything concrete but it is out there.
Sometimes all it takes in a single tweet (or a post about a tweet from the Score folks) to send me over the deep end with a whole mix of emotions. In the interest of full disclosure I will admit off the top that I have been a huge fan of Ji Sung Park for many years and seeing him play for Toronto would be a dream come true second only to having Juan Roman Riquelme join MLS before the end of his glorious career.
Park is now 32 years old and many would argue already has his best days well in the review mirror as he already seemed to be losing something by the time he left Manchester United in the summer of 2012. He has still managed to make 20 appearances for QPR this season despite the club buying so many new players.
The former South Korean international has an impressive resume including winning just about every possible trophy during his time with Manchester United and being a big part of the 2002 World Cup squad where he scored the winning goal against Portugal that sent South Korea to the knock out round for the first time. Park also had a successful stint with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands before getting snapped up by Manchester back in 2005.
When Park moved to Queens Park Rangers in the summer of 2012 he did so on a two year deal which means he still has another year to go on the deal after this season but if he feels he won't keep getting playing time at QPR it might be possible to a club like TFC to convince him to make a move.
What you get from a player like Park looks like a whole lot of running around. He has always been known to be a high effort player that will cover a lot of grass for you during the course of a match and that is still true but what often gets ignored is the moments of technical skill that he can often display. He did not make over 200 appearances for a club like Manchester United just by running hard all game. The fact that it was not that many years ago that Alex Ferguson was starting Park in big games ahead of Christiano Ronaldo and Nani speaks to the fact that his effort is focused.
Park has been regarded as one of the top defensive midfielders in the Premier League for nearly a decade now and there is no doubting his ability to track back. He has never been a standout attack player but is an adequate crosser and when he gets a chance he is capable of finishing them off. He does have 56 career goals to his name despite still looking for his first goal with QPR.
Now take this report for what it is, very flimsy. There is nothing out there to suggest that the clubs are in any sort of talks for the player and the link is basically people playing a game of simple addition. If Park wants to leave QPR at the end of the season is combined with the arrival of Ryan Nelsen at TFC and the club opening up two designated players slots this is the kind of report that can be made to make some sense.
If, and that is a giant if, this does happen you can bet that I will be the one in the crowd wearing a "Ji Sung" South Korea shirt from now on.