Lee Kang-in joins AG without playing PSG…UEFA Dortmund match ‘expected starting X’ → “expected absentees”
Reports have emerged that Lee Kang-in could miss Paris Saint-Germain’s UEFA Champions League group stage first leg against Dortmund without making his return from injury.
UEFA published the “Predicted lineups for the first day of the Champions League” on its official website on Monday (Aug. 18), revealing the expected lineups for each match and an outlook on who will be absent.
Group F side PSG will host Dortmund on the first day of the Champions League group stage, so UEFA’s predicted lineups include the names of PSG’s expected starters and possible absentees.
UEFA notes that PSG will start Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal, while the defense will consist of Ashraf Hakimi, Marquinhos, Milan Skriniar, and Luca Hernandez. Manuel Ugarte, Weren Zaire-Emericka, and Vitinha in midfield, and Ousmane Dembele, Kylian Mbappe, and Leroy Sane in attack. The list did not include Lee Kang-in.
Instead of starting, Lee was listed as a probable absentee. UEFA predicted that he would miss out, along with Fresnel Kimpembe, Nuno Mendes, Marco Asensio and Nordy Moukiele. However, the reason for Lee’s absence was listed as “absence” rather than injury, suggesting that the club may have realized that his absence from the last game could have an impact on this one, so it is not expected that his injury problem has reoccurred.
Lee had already been left out of the squad for the match against Nice on April 16, raising questions about his fitness. At the time, he had only just returned to training with the team, so there was still a chance he could be left out. This time around, however, he’ll be listed as an absentee rather than an expected starter, and there’s a good chance he’ll travel to Hangzhou without playing for PSG.
Even if he does start against Dortmund, PSG will be wary of his injury, so it’s unlikely he’ll start.
Lee hasn’t played an official match since the Toulouse game. After the Toulouse game, PSG announced on their website, “Lee Kang-in injured his left quadriceps. He will be treated until the end of the next A-match break,” the club announced on its website.
Lee’s hamstring injury in the first match against Le Havre in preseason was a major concern for fans. Lee hadn’t missed a game due to injury since January 2020, but his injury in his first game since joining PSG led some PSG fans to wonder if he was suffering from the ‘PSG injury curse’.
Lee made his comeback against Jeonbuk and started against Lorient in the first leg of the Ligue 1 and seemed to be in good shape, but he was quickly injured again in the second leg against Toulouse, much to the disappointment of the fans.
This time, however, his recovery didn’t take long. While it was initially thought that Lee would be sidelined for the entirety of the A-League season, PSG announced his return to training with a video on the club’s official social media accounts on December 12 with the tagline “PSG Training”. In the video, Lee was seen working out individually with a trainer on the indoor training field, and later on the outdoor training field, where he participated in passing drills with his teammates, marking his return to team training for the first time since his injury.
Lee was also included in PSG’s Champions League Group A squad, which the club announced on its official website on July 7, saying that “Luis Enrique has selected the players who will play in the Champions League group stage”. The inclusion marks a return to the Champions League after a four-year absence, having played in the competition with Valencia during the 2019/20 season.
The list does not include the likes of Schurrle N’Dour, Marco Verratti, Hugo Ekiti, Sergio Rico, and Kylian Mbappe, who all joined the club this summer, as well as the departures of Marco Verratti, Hugo Lloris, and Kylian Mbappe.
For PSG, there was a chance they could have pushed back Lee’s return until the relatively important Dortmund game. PSG have been drawn in the same group as Borussia Dortmund (Germany), AC Milan (Italy), and Newcastle United (England) in the Champions League for the 2023/24 season, so they will need to be at their best against Dortmund in the first leg.
Lee has been on the training field in the days leading up to the Dortmund game, so there’s a good chance he’ll be able to play, despite UEFA’s expectations. If Lee can improve his game against Dortmund, it could be a big boost for PSG and the Asian Games squad.
Earlier, the Korean Football Association (KFA) revealed that Lee will be traveling to Hangzhou for the Asian Games after the Dortmund game. Unlike the other players, Lee will be joining the team after the first match, and it is not yet clear when he will play.
Coach Hwang Sun-hong said, “It was reported that he will join us after the Champions League on the 20th. When I arrive in China, it will be in the evening of the 21st, but I will decide when to put him in after carefully examining his physical condition and other things.” Hwang said, “His injury is said to be recovered, but he hasn’t played yet. I think I’ll have to watch the Champions League game (against Dortmund) on the 20th to judge his physical condition,” he said, revealing his concerns about Lee’s availability.
In this situation, if Lee Kang-in is able to perform as expected against Dortmund and show a light touch and a decent performance, he will be able to quickly improve his performance after joining the Asian Games team.
On the other hand, if Lee doesn’t perform well at PSG and leaves the team to join the Asian Games, he could struggle to compete for a starting spot in the future.
According to French outlet Footsur 7, “Lee Kang-in is taking a big risk at PSG. He has yet to prove himself at PSG and is still a long way from showing what he can do. He envisions himself fighting for his place in Luis Enrique’s group, but he’s preparing to miss a few more games with the South Korean national team at the Asian Games,” he said, noting that Lee hasn’t yet shown the quality to compete for a starting spot.
“The issue that will come up for him is the consolidation of the PSG best 11. Obviously, he will have less time than others to convince Enrique to have confidence in him. It’s a big risk for him to leave the team for even two weeks when there are so many talented players fighting for a place in the squad,” he said, adding that the Asian Games could have a detrimental effect on the competition for places. 카지노사이트
Indeed, PSG currently has Manuel Ugarte and Weren Zaire-Emericka locked down in the midfield, with Vitinha, Lee Kang-In, Fabian Luis, and Marco Asensio competing for the remaining spots. Even if Asensio is dropped as a central attacking option, there are still three players competing for the same spot, and it would be a huge risk if Lee Kang-in were to lose his place by missing the early games of the league and Champions League, as Footsur7 notes.
Winning a gold medal at the Asian Games is also very important to Lee. Winning a medal at the Games would mean that athletes would be exempted from military service under the Military Service Act, which requires only basic military training. Son Heung-min and Kim Min-jae, who won gold at the last Games, also received military service benefits and have since continued their European careers with military training.
However, regardless of the outcome of the Asian Games, if he loses out in the competition for a starting spot at PSG, his playing time at the club could be significantly reduced. With PSG needing results in both the league and Champions League, it’s difficult to give bench players a lot of playing time, and in the worst case scenario, Lee could miss both the Asian Games gold medal and the chance to compete for a starting spot.
With Lee’s injury delaying his return to action, and speculation that his return to PSG could be after the Asian Games, all eyes will be on the PSG and Dortmund matches to see if Lee can even make the substitutes’ bench.