Wolverhampton Wanderers are preparing to renew their contract with Hwang Hee-chan, who has established himself as the team’s ace.
David Onstein of “The Athletic,” a global sports media that boasts the highest public confidence, said on his SNS on the 19th, “Wolverhampton is discussing a new contract with Hwang Hee-chan, the highest scorer.”
Onstein said: “Hwang Hee-chan and Wolverhampton’s contract runs through 2026, but Wolverhampton wants to extend the contract on improved terms. The discussion is progressing in a friendly manner. Hwang Hee-chan likes Gary O’Neill and wants to stay at Wolverhampton if the conditions are right, he added.
Hwang Hee-chan, a former Pohang Steelers youth team, entered Europe in January 2015 after moving to refurbishing Austria. A year later, in January 2016, he left the refurbishment and joined Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg. He scored 14 goals and two assists in 29 official matches in the 2016/17 season when he made his debut for Salzburg.
He followed the first season, but Hwang Hee-chan later showed a disappointment compared to the previous season with 13 goals and 4 assists in 37 games in the 2017/18 season. Hwang Hee-chan left Salzburg in August 2018 and moved to Hamburg SV in Germany on loan. It was a transfer made to find a breakthrough, but it was not a solution. He returned to Salzburg after 21 games with two goals and two assists.
Hwang Hee-chan, who suffered a brief ups and downs, succeeded in reviving the 2019/20 season. He rose to the core of Salzburg along with Erling Holan and Takumi Minamino with 16 goals and 17 assists in 40 games that season. This season, Hwang Hee-chan scored in the second Group E match of the UEFA Champions League against Liverpool by beating Virgil van Dijk, the world’s best defender, with his unique “folding.” 온라인경마
Based on his performance in Salzburg, Hwang Hee-chan moved to RB Leipzig in July 2020. Leipzig spent 12 million euros (about 16.9 billion won) on recruiting Hwang Hee-chan. When key striker Timo Werner left for Chelsea, Leipzig selected Hwang Hee-chan as their replacement.
Hwang Hee-chan’s life in Leipzig was not smooth, although he set foot in the Bundesliga, one of the five major leagues in Europe. He fell short of the club’s expectations with three goals and three assists in 26 matches for Leipzig. He was pushed out of the main competition and had difficulty managing his condition as he was confirmed to be COVID-19.
Hwang Hee-chan moved to Wolverhampton on loan in August 2021 for a chance to play. He left 31 games in the 2021/22 season with five goals and one assist. Hwang Hee-chan, who scored four goals until October, failed to fully continue his momentum with a hamstring injury in December. Nevertheless, Wolverhampton fully recruited Hwang Hee-chan after the end of the season. Wolverhampton invested 16.7 million euros (about 23.6 billion won) in the complete transfer of Hwang Hee-chan.
Last season, Hwang Hee-chan had to swallow his regret. Hwang Hee-chan’s final performance in the 2022/23 season was 4 goals and 1 assist in 32 games. Julen Lopetegui, who was appointed in the middle of the season, gave Hwang Hee-chan a strong trust, but the injury again held Hwang Hee-chan back. He injured his hamstring in February and was out for a month.
Wolverhampton’s prospects this season were not bright. Huweng Neves, the team’s captain, moved to Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia, for 55 million euros (about 77.7 billion won). Matheus Nunes, the core of the midfield, left for Manchester City for 62 million euros (about 87.6 billion won). Nathan Collins and Raul Jimenez also split from Wolverhampton. Ahead of the opening of the season, Lopetegui was replaced by O’Neill.
Hwang Hee-chan played as a substitute in the opening match against Manchester United. In his first match as a substitute, he was also given a chance to play as a substitute in the match against Brighton and Hove Albion. Within five minutes of being substituted, he scored his first goal of the season. Pablo Sarabia’s corner kick was finished with a header.
Hwang Hee-chan, who made a strong impression on O’Neill, was on the starting list in the third round against Everton. It was his first start, but Hwang Hee-chan injured his hamstring and closed the game early. Fortunately, Hwang Hee-chan played as a substitute in the fourth round against Crystal Palace and returned immediately. He scored in his return, but his team lost 2-3 games.
Hwang Hee-chan’s momentum continued against Liverpool in the fifth round. He scored the opening goal in the seventh minute, but Wolverhampton lost 1-3 to Liverpool. Hwang Hee-chan started against Luton Town in the sixth round, but failed to achieve an offensive point.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola also paid attention to Hwang Hee-chan’s performance. In a press conference ahead of the match against Wolverhampton in September, he said, “I always played a difficult game against Wolverhampton. Considering Wolverhampton’s skills, Pedro Netu, Matheus Cunha and Korean Guy (Hwang Hee-chan) in front of them are very good players.”
Hwang Hee-chan properly imprinted his presence on Guardiola. He scored a come-from-behind goal in the 21st minute of the second half when they were locked 1-1 to give Wolverhampton a 2-1 victory. Hwang Hee-chan’s goal was recorded as the winning goal. Manchester City suffered its first defeat of the season because it failed to stop Hwang Hee-chan.
October was Hwang Hee-chan’s month. Hwang Hee-chan scored an offensive point in all Wolverhampton’s league games in October. He scored a goal in the eighth round against Aston Villa and one assist in the ninth round against Bournemouth. In the 10th round against Newcastle United, he dedicated a penalty kick, but scored an equalizer through a “folding” that pushed aside the opponent’s defender.
In the match against Newcastle, Hwang Hee-chan achieved several milestones. He broke his record for most goals scored in a season since entering the EPL. The previous record was five goals in the 2021/22 season. Finally, Hwang Hee-chan became the first player in the club’s history to score consecutive goals in six games played on home soil. Hwang Hee-chan has scored all goals so far this season, starting against Everton, his last home game last season.
Hwang Hee-chan, who scored an offensive point in the October FKI, won the Wolverhampton Player of the Month Award in October. Wolverhampton announced on its official website on the 14th, “Hwang Hee-chan, who showed impressive performance in October, became the star of the club’s October Player of the Month award.” Hwang Hee-chan, who received 45% of the vote, was ranked first. Netu came in second with 41 percent.
Hwang Hee-chan scored five consecutive league attacking points as he helped in the 10th round against Sheffield United. Recently, he played the “Korean Derby” with Son Heung-min. Wolverhampton, who met Tottenham Hotspur on the 11th, came from behind to win 2-1. After the match, Hwang Hee-chan boarded a plane to Korea for the South Korean national team’s A-match schedule in November, led by Jürgen Klinsmann.
The middle of the season is still underway, but Hwang Hee-chan’s performance is unusual. Hwang Hee-chan is tied for sixth in scoring in the league with seven goals and two assists in 13 EPL matches. If he maintains his current form, he will be able to score his first double-digit score since entering the EPL. Expectations for Hwang Hee-chan are growing.