Hwang Hee-chan: The Wolves star Korean fans want to see ‘become as great as Park Ji-sung or Son Heung-min’

Hwang Hee-chan is the top scorer for Wolves this season and is expected to sign for the club on a permanent deal in January

Hwang Hee-chan has fast started to become one of the most likable players at Molineux following his arrival from RB Leipzig on a season long loan deal.

Ever since his debut goal at Vicarage Road - one that he scored less than 20 minutes after stepping onto the pitch, it’s been all up-hill for Hwang in the gold and black.

Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers is challenged by Fabian Delph and Ben Godfrey of Everton during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton at Molineux

In fact, Wolves as a collective have improved parallel to the South Korean’s introduction in the west midlands and so it comes as no surprise to see him getting a lot of credit.

The 25-year-old is Wanderers’ top scorer this season with four goals and he finds the net every 151 per minutes according to the stats - a superb return for a player that spends the majority of his time on the wing rather than as an out-and-out forward.

His early success may have come as a shock for some. Hwang struggled in the Bundesliga, he didn’t find the net once in the league in 20 appearances and only managed to put up one assist in that same period - a record that he has already blown out of the water in just a couple of months in England.

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It’s been a pleasantly surprising start to life in the Premier League for the South Korean and it’s not just fans that he has been able to leave feeling that way.

Shin Joo-hyun is a coach at Pohang Steelers in South Korea - the place where it all began for Hwang and was the youth team officer during the time the Wolves winger was coming through the ranks so worked closely with him on a daily basis.

Shin says he always expected the 25-year-old to become a success but never imagined that he would reach the levels he finds himself at now so early in his career.

“Hwang was one of the best players of his age in high school, Korea,” he said.

“His play-style was similar to what it is now. He was very good at straight play, direct with power and speed.

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“At that time, the Pohang Steelers under 18 youth team won several competitions and Hwang played as the starting attacker, you could tell then that he certainly seemed likely to be successful as a professional player.

“It was surprising that he successfully debuted on the European professional stage right after his youth days.

“Besides, it’s even more surprising that he’s playing in the Premier League now.”

Hwang Hee-Chan of South Korea competes for the ball with Walid Abbas albalooshi of United Arab Emirates during the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier Final Round Group A between South Korea and United Arab Emirates

Despite Shin’s admitted surprise at how quickly his career has progressed, he says the expectation in South Korea is that he now continues to improve and cement himself as a legend over there.

And the fans, unsurprisingly, have already begun to compare him to a couple of other well known footballers from that part of the world.

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“Many Korean fans expect Hwang to perform as great as Park Ji-Sung or Son Heung-Min in the Premier League. That is the hope.”