Valencia aren’t strangers to handing young players very good platform to develop. It was the case with David Villa, David Silva and even Juan Mata. Jose Gaya and Ferran Torres present examples. But one Valencia player that would make Asia proud is Lee Kang-In.
Currently just 19, Kang-In is hardly known to too many global fans. That is obvious, considering how the likes of Ferran, Goncalo Guedes and Carlos Soler are the stars of the side. But Kang-In is slowly rising through the ranks after breaking into the first-team at the Mestalla.
His debut at the club came last season when he made three La Liga appearances under Marcelinho. He had also made two Europa League appearances, doing well to impress people in-charge at the club. Marcelinho left in the summer and Albert Celades came at the Mestalla. When Valencia fans were expecting to spend time trying to discover new casino sites 2020 for UK players they were welcoming a new coach.
This season has seen him be involved in the first-team more often than the previous term. The 19-year-old South Korean has made 11 La Liga appearances, also featuring in five Champions League games. Kang-in has also played two Copa del Rey games. The campaign has also seen him score his first goal for the club and it came against Getafe in an entertaining 3-3 draw, a match that leading online bookmakers bettingeagle.com had Valencia as favourites for.
A winger by trade, Kang-In is versatile enough to play on either flank or as the number ten. Like any player of his position, he likes to take defenders on and beat them. As a result of his pace and acceleration, Kang-In completes 3.04 dribbles per 90 minutes for the club. He boasts of a high dribbling accuracy of 76.9 percent too. It shows how he is a very reliable dribbler of the ball and thrives on going past players.
While dribbling is a strength of his, Kang-In also thrives on playing through-balls to the strikers. This season has seen the South Korean come up with 0.6 through-balls per 90 minutes. That is higher than the 0.1 for an average player of his position. Him coming up with 2.9 touches in the box is a help, as it allows him to play closer to goal than usual.
His ability to complete 77 percent of his passes in the opposition’s half is a bonus and will bode well when he develops a better final-pass. But the raw situation shows that there and at 19, he will only improve from where he currently is.
The fact that he is already a first-team regular for the South Korean national team shows that the potential is surely there. That debut came only in 2019 and he has played two more times since then. But that rise came as a result of his performances for the nation’s Under-20s team. He has risen through the ranks for the national team and has seen a fair share of places to be.
All that is a very good proof of how Kang-In is on the rise and will only improve from where he is. Valencia have been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League and that could allow Kang-In more time on the pitch whenever La Liga resumes.
At 19, there isn’t much that can stop him. Once he starts playing regularly, he will only grow in stature.