Young-Jun Lee (Suwon FC/South Korea U20) – Scout Report

An excellent U20 World Cup for South Korea recording a 4th place finish. Korea played a defensive 4-2-3-1 system, where they were extremely comfortable defending in a low block and would look to counterattack their opponents at pace. Young-Jun Lee was one of the players who stood out for me, who perhaps didn’t get the recognition they deserved.

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: South Korea
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 23/05/2003
  • Club: Gimcheon Sangmu (on loan)
  • Career: Suwon FC
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Approximatley Stands 190 cm & has a hybrid build of ectomorph and mesomorph. For his height, he’s really mobile and has the balance and agility to be effective in tight situations with the ball. Lee is powerful in the air, although he does have the height advantage, but uses his upper body well to ensure his opposition has a 0% chance of winning the ball and does occasionally misread the flight of the ball. Lee has decent acceleration over short distances but is much more prominent over longer distances – but generally speaking, his acceleration is nothing special.

Lee is very good with his back to goal (his best attribute), possessing a good first touch and receiving the ball and using his upper body strength to hold off the opposition and looking to lay off a pass to a teammate. Combined with his physical profile he’s got good ball control where he’s capable of dribbling away from the opposition & has good ball retention, additionally, he’s more than comfortable controlling balls fizzed into his feet. Lee isn’t really one to travel with the ball but has shown this is not a standout weakness in his game. Lee has displayed a decent passing range, where he’s comfortable switching the play. Lee has good natural instincts in and around the box, where unsurprisingly he’s a strong attacking aerial presence from set-pieces – his shot quality is also high when he looks to smash the ball across the goalkeeper, predominantly using his stronger right foot but is comfortable dribbling, passing and shooting with his weaker left. 

Lee’s physical presence is important when playing a lone 9, he looks to reduce the opposition cover by attempting to pin both CBs, where he can hold up the play and allow players to run off him. He’ll occasionally drift off the CBs and move into channels – typically from goal kicks. His off-the-ball movement in the box can be frustrating at times where he’ll sometimes move towards his teammate reducing the space for his teammate to penetrate, rather than moving to the back post and utilising his height. Lee’s defensive responsibilities were important for South Korea’s success, he makes it difficult for the opposition to play centrally and Lee is very active in setting pressing traps.

Young-jun Lee play a really good tournament and was very important in the way South Korea played. Lee’s presence was very important in holding the ball up and allowing his teammates to play off him. While being physically dominant with the opposition it’s important to understand that his footwork is good where he can ensure the ball is retained and play passes to his teammates. Lee Yung-Jun is still fairly rough around the edges but his footballing fundamentals are very good and has the makings of a very good CF.

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