By David Horrocks, MSc Football Coaching & Analysis Programme Leader at Etihad Campus, Mike Phelan and UCFB Alumni James Radcliffe

David has recently submitted a PhD thesis on elite performance completed with players and staff from Manchester United Football Club. The thesis has two published papers to date: Manchester United and Serial Winning, and Gary Neville – A Case Study. David also has a first class degree in Sport Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire.

Each time the world cup comes around, new stars are born, the transfer market goes crazy and the world is an open mic stage to stardom for every footballer involved. Who will be this year’s previously unidentified flying object and earn a big money transfer to one of Europe’s football powerhouses just like Colombia’s James Rodriguez did in Brazil 2012.

The Sensible Soccer World Cup blog will bring scouting know how direct from the battlefield of English Premier League recruitment directors and chief scouts. The blog will be opening the lid on just who is being watched ahead of Russia’s six-week footballing bonanza.

Hee-Chan Hwang
Recruited by the Red Bull franchise for their Salzburg side in January 2016, Hwang has been a regular feature in the first-team ever since. In his first full season in the Austrian Bundesliga he scored 12 goals and assisted 2 more in 26 games. His form in the league did drop for the 17/18 season, providing just 5 goals and 2 assists in 20 appearances. Despite this, his goals/minute ratio remained reasonable, scoring, on average, every 198 minutes. However, he was often rested for Salzburg’s Europa League campaign. During Salzburg’s run to the semi-finals, Hwang scored 2 goals and assisted a further 2 goals in 520 minutes of action in the Europa.

In his 80 career appearances as a striker in Austrian club football he has scored 37 goals and assisted 14. He has also been prolific throughout his time with the South Korean youth sides. In 28 appearances through the U17s to the U23s, Hwang scored 20 goals. However, he has been used more regularly as a winger for the senior side. Liverpool and Tottenham are both rumoured to have registered their interest in the young attacker as both clubs look to add rotational options to their forward lines.

With South Korea facing Sweden, Germany and Mexico in their group they will attempt to break into second spot behind Germany to reach the last 16. However, this tough group may mean that any glimpse of talent against top quality opposition may lead to a club such as Tottenham taking a chance on the Korean youngster.