Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers ace Hwang Hee-chan, 27, is looking for a brighter future.
The British edition of global sports media outlet The Athletic reported on Sept. 19 (KST) that Wolverhampton is in talks with Hwang to renew his contract.
“Hwang’s existing contract does not end until 2026. He has become a key player for the team this season and the club wants to reward his performance with an additional contract,” the source said.
“Hwang is keen to stay at Molineux and negotiations are progressing positively. He is known to enjoy working with manager Gary O’Neill and a contract extension is expected,” he added.
Hwang is making the 2023/24 season his own. In his third season at Wolverhampton, he is in top form without the hamstring injury that has plagued him. He is having a career-high season in the Premier League with six goals and two assists in 12 Premier League games in the first three months of the season. He’s also scored a goal in the League Cup.
Even more noteworthy, Hwang became the longest player in Wolverhampton’s history to score a goal in six consecutive home games. He also scored in six consecutive games throughout September and October to give the team a crucial point at a crucial time. He was named Wolverhampton’s Player of the Month in October and has been a fan favorite at home.
Hwang joined Wolverhampton on loan from Leipzig (Germany) in the summer of 2021 on an optional completion clause. He was a goalscoring machine shortly after arriving and completed his move the following January for a fee of £14 million (approximately $22.6 billion).
It was an emotional moment for Hwang. He’s now an established Wolverhampton striker, but before the season started, he was a rotating member of the squad who was being considered for release.
After struggling to compete for a starting spot last season due to injuries, scoring four goals and providing three assists in 32 appearances, Hwang was considered for transfer in the summer 2023 transfer window due to the club’s financial problems.
In May, British media outlet ‘The Sun’ reported, “Hwang Hee-chan will leave Wolverhampton this summer. Wolverhampton are facing Financial Fair Play (FFP) issues and will sell Hwang to balance the club’s books.” The Sun reported in May.
Leeds United, who have shown active interest in the player in the past, were mentioned as a possible destination, but the media said: “Leeds are unlikely to revive their interest in Hwang Hee-chan from last year. Hwang Hee-chan has shown problems with his goal decision-making,” explaining that Leeds withdrew their interest due to Hwang Hee-chan’s poor decision-making.
After being linked with a move, Hwang ended up staying at Wolverhampton. However, with newly appointed Wolverhampton manager Gary O’Neill dropping Hwang to the bench in the first two games of the season, it was expected that Hwang would have a difficult year.
But Hwang rose to the occasion. After coming off the bench to score his first goal of the season against Brighton & Hove Albion in the second round of the 2023/24 Premier League, Hwang scored a goal after coming off the bench against Crystal Palace in the fourth round to earn a starting spot under O’Neill.
From there, Hwang started eight consecutive league games, starting against Liverpool in Round 5 and ending in Round 12. During this time, he scored four goals and provided two assists, cementing his place as Wolverhampton’s first-choice striker.
The key to Hwang’s transformation from a transfer candidate to a key striker was his goal-scoring ability, which was considered a weakness. According to data released by the Premier League on Tuesday, Hwang has scored six goals without conceding a penalty this season, while facing just 17 shots on goal, resulting in a staggering goal conversion rate.
Hwang’s goal conversion rate this season is a whopping 35.29%. He tops the list by a wide margin over runner-up Son Heung-min (26.67%). Last season’s top scorer, Elling Holland (26.19%), is third, and Jerrod Bowen (21.88%) is fourth.
“In recent weeks, Hwang has been deployed primarily as a right winger,” said the Premier League, noting Hwang’s remarkable record, “In that position, he has excellent movement into the box to act as a second striker and is a natural penalty-box predator, taking 16 of his 17 shots from inside the box.”
Hwang’s decision-making in the penalty area has already reached a level that O’Neill has praised.
When O’Neill was asked about Hwang’s penalty conversion rate ahead of his side’s clash with Bournemouth, the club he managed until last season, he reacted positively and insisted that “the rest of Wolverhampton should learn from him.” “It’s not just Hwang, all the players can get involved in the attack and create goals,” O’Neill said, “Pedro Neto opens up the flanks, Cunha disrupts the defense, and Chani finishes.”
O’Neill uses the last letter of Hwang’s name, Chan, to refer to him as Chany. Similarly, Son Heung-min is called “Sonny.
“Chany’s finishing is very reliable and intimidating. “We’ll work together to find ways to keep his goal conversion rate up,” O’Neill said, adding that he will put a lot of energy into keeping Hwang Hee-chan alive. He praised Hwang’s positioning skills, saying, “It’s not like he’s going to take a million shots and try to take a one-and-done mid-range shot, but he knows how to get into a good position 카지노사이트.”
With his goal-decision skills having improved significantly, Hwang has now become one of the most sought-after strikers in the Premier League beyond Wolverhampton. Some media outlets have even started calling him the “Korean guy”.
Hwang’s new nickname comes from an interview with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. In a pre-match interview ahead of the seventh-round tie against Wolverhampton, Guardiola momentarily forgot Hwang’s name when discussing players to watch out for and referred to him as “the Korean guy,” which became his new nickname after Hwang scored a goal. Guardiola was also impressed with Hwang, correctly referring to him as “Hwang” in an interview after he scored the game-winning goal against Man City.
Hwang’s impact on and off the pitch has led to Wolverhampton offering him a new contract. With the club’s interests aligning well with Hwang’s, who has expressed his satisfaction with the way he has integrated into the team this season, a new contract is likely to be signed.
Meanwhile, Hwang will depart for China this morning with the South Korean national soccer team led by Jürgen Klinsmann. The national team will face China at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center on June 21 at 9 p.m. in the second Group C match of the 2026 FIFA World Cup North America (co-hosted by Canada, the United States, and Mexico) Asia Regional Qualifiers.
Hwang Hee-chan scored back-to-back goals against Vietnam last month and Singapore on Sept. 16. He will try to score in three consecutive games against China.