Daejeon Hana Citizen strengthened the squad with a small number of elite players with the K-League 1 promotion. The change in the squad is small, but the change in the attacking team is a big help.
It is because of the simultaneous joining of Yoo Kang-hyun and Thiago, who competed for the K-League 2 scoring title.
Yoo Kang-hyun played as a striker in Chungnam Asan in the 2022 season, and Thiago in Gyeongnam. Yoo Kang-hyun competed with Thiago for the top scorer until the end of the season.
Yoo Kang-hyun scored 19 goals and Thiago scored 18 goals (including 1 goal in the semi-playoffs), making Yoo Kang-hyun the Korean striker who won the top scorer for the first time in four years after Na Sang-ho, who won the top scorer for Gwangju in the 2018 season.
Daejeon succeeded in strengthening the front line by embracing both players. Yoo Kang-hyun will step on his first K-League 1 stage in his pro. He said, “I am very excited, and the size of the K-League 1 and 2 teams and the atmosphere of the fans are very different. So it seems that I am very excited and excited to be able to play in that atmosphere.”
Thiago also steps on the K-League 1 stage for the first time after joining a new team. He said, “The adjustment is going well. In particular, the players, especially Leandro, are helping me a lot every day. And I think I’m adapting to the team’s inclination. Especially the coach’s requirements or the players getting along with each other. It is centered,” he said.
Regarding his relationship with Yoo Kang-hyun, Thiago said, “We have a good relationship. I think Kang-hyun hyung is a very good person, especially outside of the playground.”
Then, he said, “Especially when I first came, Kanghyun accepted me very well. So I hope to show a good connection with him both inside and outside the stadium and accumulate as many attack points as possible.”
Regarding this, Yoo Kang-hyun said, “Because I was in Gyeongnam, I heard that players and staff who were close to Gyeongnam also got along well with Thiago, so we exchanged news with each other often last year.”
“Also, it was the first time I met privately at an awards ceremony last year, but when we talked about it, he seemed to be a good person with good grades, so I said, ‘I wish we could run together.’ We talked about it, but it really happened.”
Yoo Kang-hyun explained, “After training and playing (with Thiago), we got along very well at the training ground, so I felt like we understood how each other would move. So, as a person and as a player, it’s really good.”
Coincidentally, both players set a target of 20안전놀이터 goals, which they failed to record last year. It is unknown whether coach Lee Min-seong will coexist or compete with the two players, but both the coach and his colleagues are showing considerable expectations for the two players.
Coach Lee Min-seong said, “I believe that he is a former top scorer. Also, it is not easy for us to bring in good players without first checking them overseas. We mainly recruited players who have been proven in Korea. “I’ve chosen players who are sincere on and off the field and so far I’m very satisfied,” he said.
As the captains Ju Se-jong and Jo Yoo-min also expressed their expectations for the two players, attention is focusing on whether the two strikers who succeeded in the K-League 2 will be able to succeed in the K-League 1 with their fantastic chemistry.