K League 1: Five players to watch in the 2020 season

Omnisport

With the coronavirus pandemic having halted most major sports across the world, the new K League 1 season will likely have more eyes on it than expected on Friday.

Defending champions Jeonbuk Motors will kick off the 2020 campaign against Suwon Bluewings in the opening match of a campaign that was initially scheduled to commence on February 29.

With the Bundesliga not set to return until next weekend and the rest of the world's major top-flight leagues suspended for the foreseeable future, live football will be a welcome sight for many fans.

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We have looked at five players worth keeping an eye out for when watching K League 1 action.

 

Lee Dong-gook – Jeonbuk Motors

Still going strong as his 42nd birthday approaches in April, Lee is the all-time leading goalscorer in K League history with 224 goals in 537 matches. He is also second in terms of assists with 77. The veteran striker has featured in all of Jeonbuk's seven league title triumphs and contributed five goals as they won the AFC Champions League in 2016. His role in 2020 will likely be as an impact substitute.

Kim Ji-Hyun – Gangwon

Although his 2019 season was cut short by a knee injury sustained in September, Kim remained Gangwon's highest-scoring player with 10 goals. It was just his second year in the league and his displays earned him the Young Player Award in K League 1. The 23-year-old, who has been handed the number nine shirt, is capable of playing anywhere across the front three and will be hoping for an even more prolific campaign this time around.

Won Du-jae – Ulsan

After three seasons in the second tier in Japan, Won will be keen to make a name for himself in his native country. He won the Most Valuable Player award at the AFC Under-23 Championship in Thailand in January, with South Korea taking the title and booking their place at the Olympic Games with six wins in as many matches.

Lee Dong-jun – Busan IPark

Lee was another member of that South Korea team and the success came following a thoroughly impressive campaign in the second tier. The 23-year-old right winger scored 13 goals and set up another seven as Busan gained promotion behind champions Gwangju. He also notched in the 2017 Korean Cup final first leg, though his team ended up losing 2-1 on aggregate to Ulsan.

Adam Taggart – Suwon Bluewings

Australian Taggart was signed by Fulham after an impressive 16-goal return saw him take the 2013-14 A-League Golden Boot for Newcastle Jets, but he failed to make a single appearance at Craven Cottage due to a persistent groin injury. He revived his career at Perth Glory and joined Suwon ahead of the 2019 campaign. He led the scoring charts with 20 goals despite his team finishing a disappointing eighth, though lifting the Korean Cup will have provided some consolation.

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