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Leicester can use South Korea enforcer to provide midfield metal

| 26.06.2014

As Nigel Pearson scrawled his signature across a three-year contract extension at Leicester City, he could be forgiven for secretly thinking that, if he doesn’t act this summer, he may not get that long at the helm.

Now a Premier League boss having won the Championship with the Foxes, Pearson would be foolish not to pay any attention to the fate of promoted managers that have gone before him.

Such is the desperation to stay in the top-flight, a bad start to the season could see Leicester hit the ejector button on the manager’s seat, just like Crystal Palace and Cardiff did last term.

In order to avoid a skyward trip, Pearson must add to his squad this off-season, with central midfield an area in need of urgent attention having used just two players there for the majority of the Championship campaign.

Luckily for the 50-year-old, there’s a massive international tournament taking place that highlights the skills of players teams like Leicester may not have previously been aware of.

Also fortunate for the former defender is the fact that when South Korea face Belgium in the final action of Group H, a steely centre-circle dweller of the type Pearson requires will be on display.

Han Kook-Young is not a player that demands attention on the pitch, but is a vital cog in the South Korea wheel, performing the kind of role that every team needs but rarely pays scrutiny to.

Playing alongside Swansea’s Ki Seung-Yeung, a player who’s adapted well to Premier League life himself, Han harasses, tackles and intercepts opponents to allow his playing partner the license to roam forward.

The 24-year-old, who can be backed at 25/1 to be Whoscored.com’s highest rated player against Belgium, has performed those duties well for his nation at this World Cup, despite the side’s deflating showing so far.

The Kashiwa Reysol player has registered six tackles, two interceptions and five clearances in his two outings.

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Author

Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.