“Hwang is currently performing exceptionally well in the Premier League (PL) and Arsenal are interested in signing him,” Spain’s ‘As’ reported on Monday (Nov. 19).
Hwang first joined Wolverhampton in the 2021-22 season. After excelling at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, he moved to RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, but was unable to get much playing time and eventually joined Wolverhampton on loan to get more game time.
Hwang played in the Premier League (PL) for the first time in his career. He scored his first goal in his debut against 4R Watford, signaling a resurgence. After a decent first season, Wolverhampton triggered his release clause and he moved to Wolverhampton for good. His final tally for the 2021-22 season was 5 goals and 1 assist in 21 games.레모나토토 도메인
The 2022-23 season didn’t come as easily and he was criticized. After a promising start to the season with an assist against Leeds United in the league opener, he failed to register a single attacking point in the first half of the season. After such a personally disappointing first half of the season, Hwang was called up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where he was forced to sit out both the first and second rounds due to injury.
However, after returning from injury, Hwang played a completely different game and revitalized the team. After returning to action against Portugal in the third round of the World Cup, Hwang scored a dramatic comeback goal in stoppage time to send South Korea through to the round of 16, and he also looked dangerous against Brazil in the round of 16, although the team lost heavily. Hwang’s return to Wolverhampton also saw him switch between starting and coming off the bench, with his threatening dribbling ability making him a completely different player than he was in the first half of the season. His final tally for the 2022-23 season was four goals and three assists in 32 games.
Now in his third year in the PL, Hwang has been an integral part of the team’s offense since the start of the season. He scored against Brighton in the second round, followed by goals against Crystal Palace in the fourth round and Liverpool in the fifth round, and he also scored in the English Football League Cup (EFL Cup).
The peak came in the seventh round against Manchester City. Hwang, who also started that game, scored the game-winning goal in the 21st minute of the second half to break a 1-1 tie. The goal was significant for Hwang, as he had been the subject of some controversy after his manager, Pep Guardiola, referred to him as “The Korean Guy” in a pre-match interview. “I believed we could win,” Hwang said on the club’s channel after the game. After halftime, the players said we could get a good result and we did. I’m happy and in a good mood. Every goal I score means something, but it feels great to score at home. Mateusz Cunha’s assist was great. I’m happy to have helped the team,” he said emotionally.
The unstoppable Hwang Hee-chan was once again in action. After starting against Aston Villa in Round 8, Hwang scored his second goal in as many games when he opened the scoring eight minutes into the second half. Although Wolverhampton were unable to hold on to the lead and came away with a point, it was one of Hwang’s best individual performances.
By scoring his fifth league goal in two consecutive games, Hwang made history for the club. “He became the first player in Wolverhampton history to score five consecutive attacking points in PL home games,” Opta wrote after his fifth league goal. He has done so since last season’s 37th round home game against Everton, and this season’s games against Brighton, Liverpool, Man City, and Villa. The goal also moved Hwang into fourth place on the PL scoring charts behind Elling Holland, Son Heung-min, Alexander Isaacs, and Mohamed Salah.
Hwang’s outstanding scoring performance for a relatively weak team in Wolverhampton is also reflected in the statistics. According to the official PL social media leaderboard, Hwang converted five of his 12 shots on goal, giving him the highest shot-to-target ratio in the league. That’s a lot of concentration in the box.
After recording one assist against Bournemouth in Round 9, Hwang was back in the scoring column in no time. In the 10th round against Newcastle United, Hwang was awarded a penalty kick (PK) for an unexpected foul in the 44th minute of the game, but eventually scored the equalizer to save his team from defeat. With his goal, Hwang became the first player to score in six consecutive games at home since Wolverhampton’s founding in 1877. “This record is a great honor for me,” he said in a post-match interview. But all the goals I scored were created by my team, we play very hard and understand each other very well. I would like to thank my teammates and the fans for their support.”
On the PK incident in the 44th minute, he said: “It’s very difficult to talk about this situation after the game, but I saw someone block me while I was clearing the ball. After that I just stopped, and I think he touched me. I don’t know exactly, but I don’t think it was a PK, but the referee made the call and all I could do was help the team, so I’m glad I scored the goal.”
Sky Sports in the UK gave Hwang a 7/10 rating for his dramatic equalizer and commented on the PK: “Fabian Schaer was good at getting to the ball after Hwang’s touch and anticipating the contact. However, some may argue that it was not as clear as the referee would have judged in real time.”
Head coach Gary O’Neill added: “It was an ugly, ugly call. “It was ugly, it was horrible, especially that the video assistant referee (VAR) didn’t step in. I think they (the referees) made a big mistake,” he said. “Hwang Hee-chan made very minimal contact with Cher to clear the ball. I mean almost no contact. The ball was already at his feet before Hwang made contact with Cher. So it’s a terrible decision,” he said, expressing his incomprehension of the call.
Many pundits praised Hwang’s dramatic equalizer. Karen Carney of Sky Sports in the UK said of Hwang’s goal, “He’s world class. He’s a player who does all the hard work, and he’s particularly good at pushing it in from distance. That’s why he’s at Wolverhampton. He creates magical moments. If you look at the goal, Dan Byrne slides in, he knows he’s going to be tackled, he’s got the pace, he’s world class.” Former PL player Robbie Musto also raved about the goal on his podcast, saying, “His goal reminds me of Messi.”
The goal was also nominated for PL Goal of the Month. “Eight of the best goals from October 2023 have been nominated for the Budweiser Goal of the Month award,” the PL Secretariat announced on its official website today, along with a video of the eight goals.
The competition is also tough. Nketiah, who scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Sheffield United on March 28, is another strong contender. Nketiah scored his third goal of the game 13 minutes into the second half with a trademark mid-range strike from just outside the penalty area after the score was 2-0. Nketiah was joined in contention for the award by Mbemo, who finished with a left-footed shot from Neil Moufei’s pass against Burnley, Dalot, who scored with a stunning curling effort against Sheffield Wednesday, and Bournemouth’s Philip Billing, who scored with a long-range chip against Burnley that was reminiscent of David Beckham. Although he didn’t win the award, it was the first time Hwang had been nominated for the honor since entering the PL.
He followed that up with an assist against Sheffield United in Round 11, making it six consecutive games with an attacking point. Although Wolverhampton lost to Sheffield Wednesday that day, ending their four-match unbeaten run, Hwang’s individual performances continued his fine form this season. So far in the 2023-24 season, he has seven goals and two assists in 13 games.
Various media outlets have also taken notice of Hwang’s offensive prowess. Football statistics outlet Opta ranked the 10 most dangerous duos in the PL for the 2023-24 season on Monday. Hwang and Pedro Neto made the list.
“We have two players who have come into their own and are off to a very strong start to the season,” the publication said of Hwang and Neto. “Neto leads the PL with seven assists this season, three of which have led to Hwang’s goals. That’s the third most assists by a single player this season after Darwin Núñez and Mohamed Salah.”
As it turns out, Wolverhampton have offered Hwang a new contract. On the 19th, David Onstein of The Athletic reported, “Wolverhampton are in talks with Hwang to renew his contract. Hwang’s existing contract does not expire until 2026, but Wolverhampton wants to reward him with an improved contract as he has been a key resource for the team this season,” said David Onstein.
“Negotiations between the two sides are progressing positively as both Hwang and Wolverhampton want him to stay at the club. Hwang is known to love playing under O’Neill and is expected to sign a new contract if the terms are right.”
Then came the news. Arsenal are reportedly considering a move for Hwang. “Arsenal is one of the clubs interested in Hwang Hee-chan,” said ‘As’. Manager Mikel Arteta is considering signing Hwang in next summer’s transfer market as he aims to strengthen his squad.” Although this rumor is not very likely, it is clear that the so-called “big clubs” are keeping an eye on Hwang Hee-chan after his performance this season.