Jürgen Klinsmann emphasized continuity and continuity from the A-match in October. “The Qatar Asian Cup will be composed mostly of the existing members. I drew the picture to a certain extent. The closer we get to a major championship, the more important it is to continue. I hope that the eight to 10 players who are the backbone of the team advance to the Asian Cup without any injuries. This framework will not change,” Klinsmann said. When comparing the list in October and November, there has been no significant change except for the return of goalie Song Bum-keun and the selection of Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk Hyundai), who can exchange midfielders and center backs.
Manager Clinton has shown great trust in the team members who have won consecutive games since October, and expressed his intention to recruit them through the Asian Cup as expected. The first round of the team’s roster illustrates this well. Manager Clinton chose 11 players among the K-League players, including Cho Hyun-woo, Kim Young-kwon, Jung Seung-hyeon, Kim Tae-hwan, Seol Young-woo (Ulsan), Moon Seon-min, Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung), and Lee Soon-min (Gwangju FC). Song Bum-keun of the J-League, who finished the season, is on board, and players from European leagues during break time are also joining the team. Lee Jae-seong (Mainz) and Jung Woo-young (Stutzgart), Hwang In-beom (Zvezda) of Serbia and Cho Kyu-sung (Mitwhelan) of Denmark. A total of 16 players will be convened.
The final entry will be announced later, including “Captain” Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Oh Hyun-kyu (Celtic), Hong Hyun-suk (Hent), Kim Seung-gyu (Al-Shabab), and Park Yong-woo (Al-Iin). All of them are key resources of the team. If all of them are selected, the total number of entries will be 24, including the first call-up list.
The problem is that the number of entries for the Qatar Asian Cup has increased from 23 to 26. The Asian Football Confederation has confirmed the number of entries for the tournament at 26 in line with the global standard, just like the last Qatar World Cup. In order for Klinsmann to follow the rules, it is inevitable to select at least two new faces. On top of that, if the call-up list is being trained in Korea, or if European or Middle Eastern players are injured before joining the national team, the number could increase even further.
However, Coach Klinsmann has not chosen a new pace from the list. As for the K-League, he is now taking rest after a long season. If he is not included in the list, he will be virtually impossible to select, considering his physical condition. For this reason, some even say that Coach Klinsmann can participate in the championship without filling in all 26 players. “There has been a preliminary list since the announcement of the list. It has just not been made public,” a source from the national team said. “It is up to the coach to decide whether to select all 26 players, but he will not be able to select due to lack of players.”
If Coach Klinsmann fills all of the entries, chances are high that he will fill the remaining posts with young players playing in Europe. According to reports, some players have already submitted relevant documents to the national team.