Midfielder Looks Set to Join Swansea for £6.3m (Plus Add On’s)
Firstly, I must admit that, in many ways, I am sad about having to write this piece. I have always rated Ki Sung-Yueng very highly as a footballer, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him show the world his talent in a Celtic jersey. I would agree that it makes sense to sell him at the moment, as I feel we have a very strong midfield at the Football Club at the moment and it could be argued Ki’s ability would be far better suited to a more technical league. However I, like many Celtic supporters, will only be happy to see Ki leave the Club if a sizeable proportion of the transfer fee received is made available to Neil Lennon to strengthen the squad. At present, many believe we need a centre back and a striker as a minimum if we hope to continue to progress as a team, and perhaps this transfer will start the proverbial ball rolling now that we look like we will have a few million pounds more in the bank. However, I digress.
Ki Sung-Yeung (affectionately nicknamed as “Dave” by some during his footballing career) was born in South Korea in January 1989. He spent several years in Australia as a youngster, playing youth football while also learning to speak English fluently. During this time, he picked up his afore mentioned nickname. In 2006, Ki returned to South Korea and joined FC Seoul in the K-League. Three years later, with speculation rife as to which European club would capture the young man’s signature, Celtic beat off the likes of PSV Eindhoven, Hamburg, Porto and Portsmouth as they snapped the South Korean internationalist up for a little over £2 million.
According to Matt McGlone, despite much speculation in the media, the fee for the sale of Ki is approximately £6.3 million up front, potentially rising to £7.5 million if he makes a certain number of appearances for the club. There is also a sell on clause for 15% of any fee the Welsh club receive in the future for the South Korean. You could say this was a very good piece of business on Celtic’s part, bringing in a young talent and allowing him to develop and grow before selling him on for a significant profit. Ki made his debut for the Hoops in January 2010 in a 1-1 draw with Falkirk, receiving the man of the match award in the process.
Ki scored nine times in sixty six competitive appearances for Celtic, and I have no doubt that there will be one goal off his that will live longer than any others in the memories of the Celtic support. With around half an hour gone in the Scottish Cup Final against Motherwell, Ki Sung-Yeung picked up the ball in midfield at a soaking wet Hampden Park and sent a thunderous left foot shot in the bottom corner of the net from around thirty five yards out. In light of everything the Football Club, the support, and, most importantly, the manager, Neil Lennon had been through at the time, this was a critical moment as the South Korean helped Celtic to their first trophy under Lennon. Ki was once again awarded with the man of the match award, and has since helped the club win the Scottish Premier League.
And so, at the age of twenty three, the South Korean known for his incredible vision, technical ability, passing repertoire, long range shots and his rather interesting hairstyles is moving on from Glasgow. I can only wish him all the best for the future and thank him for his efforts whilst a member of the Celtic squad. As for you lot, I’ll leave you with a selection of some of Ki’s best moments, both for Celtic, and for Seoul and South Korea.