It’s Official: Park Ji-Sung Joins QPR (with Video)By: phil | July 9th, 2012
The move was anticipated after the sides reached an agreement last week, but today made it official: Queen Park Rangers signed Manchester United middie Park Ji-Sung to a new 2-year deal. At the press conference, both sides were all smiles, with Park saying: “Their plan is great … I know QPR want to improve and have ambitions to reach the next level.” Mark Hughes talked up the deal and said it was a significant move “for us as a club and for me as a manager” – presumably, he had a hand in talking Park into the agreement.
At 31 years old, Park is not a guy we could expect to be around for a decade. But he can step in right away and help: he’s an aggressive tackler and a high energy guy who can control the middle of the field. His scoring touch is decent, but not great – Park had only 19 Premier League goals in 7 year with Man U. You might expect more from a midfielder who played in about half the team’s games over that time. But he’s a tireless worker, a solid passer, and he fights hard to win loose balls and to make it tough for opposing midfielders to set up an attack. Given QPR’s propensity to get run off the middle of the pitch last year (the first Fulham match would be a good example), this is the kind of move that will help immensely.
You can check out some highlights here:
As you can see, his stamina is amazing. On several instances, he makes a run the length of the field, and still has a little burst at the end to get past a defender. And while he’s not a trickster who will dribble past 4 defenders, he can certainly worry a defense if you give him the ball at his feet.
As of now, the midfield looks pretty crowded, with Park joining Diakite (who made his loan move permanent), Alejandro Faurlin, if he’s healthy, Fabio da Silva (coming over on a loan deal), Shaun Derry and Adel Taarabt all competing for spots. Derry will probably be the odd man out. Taarabt says he wants a new deal; it’s unclear whether that will happen before the start of the season, but I’d be in favor of keeping him around. Despite his inconsistencies last year, he’s a talented guy and his pace and touch would fit well with Park’s high-energy, ball-winning style.
A lot of speculation remains over where the club might be looking next. Given our defensive struggles last season, there’s a good chance that Hughes is looking to bring in CB help. The market is a lot tougher there, though. With so many teams needing reliable defenders, the few that are on the market will command a premium. Check in later this week, as we follow the transfer season and try to discern how QPR will be lining up this coming season.