World Cup Clock Ticking for Park Chu-young as He Seeks New Club

Park Chu-young Park Chu-young

Striker Park Chu-young's future will be determined in a few days' time as the January transfer window in the English Premier League will close on Friday.

If he is unable to leave Arsenal, it is likely that he will spend the rest of the season warming the bench. Park has played just 13 minutes as a substitute in one game this season. Gunners' Manager Arsene Wenger recently said that no other team has shown interest in acquiring his services.

Park is reportedly searching for a new team through agents in different leagues rather than through the team, and is prepared to take a pay cut. His current weekly wage is estimated at W80 million (US$1=W1,080).

In order for him to be selected to the Korean national team for the World Cup in Brazil this summer, Park needs to find a team that will let him start in as many games as possible.

Hong Myung-bo, manager of the Korean national team, said, "Park had an edge over other players in the national team for the 2012 London Olympics because all strikers including him were being used as substitutes [at club level]. But now things have changed and we have a number of strikers who are regularly playing for their clubs, so it's hard to choose Park given that he's not getting time on the pitch."

Kim Shin-wook, a tall striker for Ulsan Hyundai, has been quickly establishing himself as the leading striker for the national team. He recently scored goals in two consecutive international matches -- against Russia in Nov. 2013 and Costa Rica last Sunday.

For Park to get a shot at making his third consecutive World Cup appearance, transferring to a new club would be the only option. Park joined Arsenal on Aug. 31, 2011, the last day of the summer transfer window, so it is possible that a similar move may happen this time.

Koo Ja-cheol moved from Wolfsburg to Mainz in the Bundesliga and Ji Dong-won left Sunderland in the Premier League to join German club Augsburg to gain more playing time and increase their chances of being selected to the national team. It is time for Park to follow suit to resurrect his career at both club and international level.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 29, 2014 09:44 KST