Lee Kang-In was busy in the center, on the left, and up front, showing his versatility.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) defeated Stade de Reims 2-0 in the 12th round of the 2023-24 French Ligue 1 at 1:00 a.m. ET at the Stade Auchent-Drone in Reims, France. With the win, PSG (27 points) leapfrogged Nice (26 points) into the league lead.
Luis Enrique again utilized a 4-2-4 formation. Up front, Lee Kang-In, Kylian Mbappe, Gonzalo Hamus, and Ousmane Dembele started. Fabian Luis and Warren Zaire Emery were in the midfield. The defense was made up of Nordy Moukiele, Milan Skriniar, Marquinhos, and Carlos Soler. Gianluigi Donnarumma wore the goalkeeping gloves.
Lee Kang-in also played as a left winger. From preseason to the beginning of the season, Lee had been playing on the right wing, where Dembele is now. Since returning from the Asian Games in Hangzhou, Enrique has been using a 4-2-4 formation, with Lee competing with Vitinha for the left wing spot. Despite being a left winger, he is quite center-oriented compared to Dembele on the right. Depending on the positioning of Mbappe, he could also play deep down the flank.
Enrique utilized Lee’s versatility. “His position in our system is more of a central midfielder,” Enrique has said before. But he can also play as a number nine or as a winger. He knows what to do and how to do it. He can score goals and make the final pass.” It’s clear that Enrique has taken notice of the player’s versatility.
Against Reims, Lee showed his versatility. He played on the left wing, moved up and down the center, got involved in the attack, and showed a lot of initiative. After the Mbappe goal, he made his presence felt when Reims were trailing. Trailing, PSG took off Gonzalo Hamus, who had little impact, at the start of the second half and brought on Vitinha. Vitinha slotted in on the left and Lee played up front with Mbappe.
It was a fake number nine. Lee didn’t do much in this unfamiliar position, but he certainly showed off his versatility. Playing until the 77th minute, Lee had 58 touches of the ball, an 88% pass success rate (43 attempts-38 successful), and two key passes. Soccer statistics outlet Couch Score gave Lee a rating of 6.9. The French program 90min gave him a rating of 5.
Despite Lee’s struggles, PSG won 3-0, led by a Mbappe hat trick. After some early jitters, PSG has gone on a winning streak in the Ligue 1. As the season progresses, Lee’s versatility will only benefit the team.
Meanwhile, Lee is gaining attention for his star power. France’s ‘Le 10 Sport’ reported on the 11th that “Lee, who joined PSG for 20 million euros (about 28.2 billion won) last summer, has been in good form since the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. Unexpectedly for PSG president Luis Campos, jerseys with Lee’s name on them are selling like hotcakes. Lee’s arrival at PSG has sparked a frenzy among South Korean fans, with jersey sales outpacing those of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.”
According to the outlet, Campos was tongue-in-cheek when he described the “Lee effect” during a conference at La Sorbonne. Campos is known in soccer circles for his scouting prowess. He led AS Monaco’s Golden Generation and did a great job at Lille. “We worked hard to get him,” Campos said. We couldn’t go beyond a certain price. He fits the bill for what Luis Enrique wants. But I didn’t think that signing him would affect our marketing in Asia. In terms of shirt sales, he’s ahead of Mbappe and Neymar.”레모나토토 도메인
French publication RMC Sport said, “Lee Kang-in is a huge hit in South Korea and is a huge business boon for PSG. He has become PSG’s new favorite player, almost as popular as Mbappe. Sales of his jerseys have surpassed Mbappe’s and have become a phenomenon. “All signings are made on a sporting basis, but since his arrival, PSG has seen a huge commercial benefit,” said Mark Armstrong, a PSG official.
“He was almost an unknown quantity at PSG. After the departure of Neymar and Marco Verratti, he became the PSG dribbler alongside Dembele, and he will be a huge asset in Asia. According to Armstrong, Korean followers of PSG X (formerly Twitter) are third only to French and Americans. The number of Korean fans attending PSG home games has reportedly increased by 20% since Lee arrived. It’s a very profitable situation,” he added.
“PSG Talk” said, “PSG may have struck gold with the signing of Lee Kang-in. Campos explained the story behind the signing. He acknowledged his admiration for Lee’s play and the impact he has had on marketing in Asia.” “As the soccer world continues to marvel at PSG’s stars, a new name has joined the ranks – Lee Kang-in, who has become a sensation, enjoying a popularity that rivals that of Mbappe. His arrival at PSG was a big moment and his chemistry with Mbappe is literally mesmerizing. The duo has given PSG’s attack a tremendous boost.”