VfL Bochum 1848 have completed the signing of former Bolton Wanderers and Crystal Palace winger and attacking all-rounder Chung Yong Lee on a free transfer for one season with the option of a one-year extension.
The South Korea international has joined VfL Bochum 1848 on a free transfer after his contract with Crystal Palace expired in July. The 30-year-old has 79 international caps to his credit as well as 105 matches in the English Premier League and 109 games in the Championship. Previously, he scored eleven goals in 54 matches in the South Korean top league, K1.
Nicknamed the "Blue Dragon", Chung-Yong Lee has only played for three clubs in his entire career. He made 195 appearances for Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League and Championship, scoring 20 goals - notably a memorable winner against Birmingham City in the 2011 FA Cup quarter final. The 30-year-old went on to return to the Premier League in 2014 with Crystal Palace; however, he failed to break into the team at Selhust Park and made only made 51 appearances for the club.
Lee was a member of the Korean World Cup Squads in 2014 as well as in 2018. He will be VfL Bochum’s new number 11.
Bolton Wanderers had been hoping to re-sign their former winger but he was forced to quit the UK after failing to gain a work permit. South Korea’s poor performance at this year’s World Cup meant they dropped to 57th in the FIFA World Rankings, making it impossible for the 30-year-old to re-sign for his former club.
Sebastian Schindzielorz, VfL head of football, declared himself “extremly happy that we have been able to bring a player of his quality to VfL Bochum. Chung Yong Lee had been on our screen for quite some time, but given his involvement in England, we could not seriously expect a move to Bochum. However, the South Korean national team's slipping down in the FIFA Ranking created a new situation: He has not been granted a work permit for the English Championship where he should have played for Bolton Wanderers again this season.
“That’s when we had our chance and we took it. Chung Yong Lee is a model pro with an impressive career. Over 200 games in England are as much proof of this quality as the 79 caps for South Korea. He will certainly help us to improve with the qualities he brings to the team.”
Chung Yong Lee is looking forward to his first engagement in Germany: “I am delighted to join VfL Bochum. The level of Bundesliga 2 is very high, from what I've heard. For me it will be a matter of gelling with the team as quickly as possible. I hope that VfL Bochum will benefit from my experience and abilities, and that we will succeed as a team.”
Player data CHUNG YONG LEE
D.o.B. : 02/07/1988 (Seoul / KOR)
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 70 kg
Nationality: South Korean
Premier League / ENG - matches/goals: 105/8
Championship / ENG: 109/10
K League 1 / KOR: 54/11
AFC Champions League: 1/0
Interantional games/goals: 79/8, 7/0 (U23), 18/1 (U20), 6/6 (U17)
Tournaments: World Cups 2010, 2014; AFC Asian Cup 2011, 2015
Former clubs: Crystal Palace (ENG; 2015-18), Bolton Wanderers (ENG; 2009-15), FC Seoul (KOR; 2004-09)