Han Kwang-song leaves Juventus for Qatari side Al Duhail


Han Kwang-song was the first North Korean player to play in Serie A and only the second along with Pak Kwang-Ryong at St. Pölten to make any kind of impact in Europe, but Han has now been moved on to Qatar.

Juventus sell Han to Al Duhail

Juventus seem to have had a odd arrangement going on with Cagliari regarding North Korean forward Han Kwang-song who is only the second North Korean to play in Italy after Choe Song-Hyok with Olbia. The agreement reads as a loan move to Juventus which resulted in him being shipped out to their U23 side, and are now flogging him to Qatari side Al Duhail.

All this without even having a sniff of a game in the first team. Maybe Juventus signed him with this day in mind, although making a large profit from a North Korean player would be near impossible as he would be rejected for a work visa to play in most European countries due to the sanctions often plonked on North Korea. I am not sure if there are any sanctions right now, but they dip in and out of sanctions on the regular.

The reason football players get bogged down in the sanctions is that North Korea deducts a large percentage of any foreign workers, as it is used 'allegedly' for the benefit of the country.

Qatar has no issues with wages flooding back to the North Korean government though, and off Han goes to Qatar. He is going to face the same challenge he faced in Italy at Juventus though as Mario Mandžukić has also made the move to Al Duhail, so Han finds the same player blocking his route to the first team.

It is unlikely Han will get a look in ahead of Mandžukić so it could be possible that Juventus forced the deal upon the Qataris, if you want Mandžukić then you must take this lad too. It is not out the realms of possibility that this could have been the case.

Han does fill up the Asian spot for continental competitions though, which could be useful for Al Duhail, and could we see a situation where Han gets more chances to play the AFC Champions league than in the domestic Qatari league?

Either way, you look at it, this deal smells dodgy. Football seems to be going this way right now with a lot of clubs finding wheres to Jimmy (fiddle) transfers.

Players have become the pawns of certain clubs in this kind of instance, but for Han, who unfortunately for him, was born in North Korea, he's actually quite limited as to where he can transfer to. Therefore, getting a transfer anywhere other than a flight back to Pyongyang is success in a way, and there is no reason why he cannot do well, or get a move back to somewhere in Europe (similar to Italy, who don't mind the sanctions rules).

However, at the end of the day, Han has a fight on to even get a first-team spot. He will likely find himself plonked on the bench for most of the season.

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