Asian players can mix it with the best: Park Ji-sung
With a resume that boasts 114 goals in 299 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur, South Korea forward Son Heung-min is riding high on the Asian wave of players plying their trade in Europe.
Joined by Wolverhampton Wanderers' Hwang Hee-chan, Japanese duo Takumi Minamino (Liverpool) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), and Iran's Mehdi Taremi (Porto), Son and his peers are proof that Asian players can match the best on the world stage, says former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung.
In a Zoom interview with The Straits Times yesterday, Park said: "These days, plenty of Asians are playing in Europe and they have proven that they can compete with Europeans and South Americans.
"Now, clubs know that Asian players can compete at this level. In my time, it was difficult for an Asian to come to Europe and compete."
He added that Asian exports are often of high quality these days and they also display traditional traits such as diligence.
"Son and Hwang, for example, they are hardworking but they also have great technique and can score great goals. That is why they stand out," he said.
Park, who retired in 2014, is now looking forward to seeing United find their feet again under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
United face four bottom-half sides in their next five English Premier League games, starting with Norwich City on Sunday.
Park said: "It's a great time to develop the team for the new manager. I am looking forward to how he sets the team out for the next few fixtures.
"The season is long with lots of games coming up and we have a big opportunity to fight for the top four." - DEEPANRAJ GANESAN
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