Tom’s Transfer Talk is back a little earlier than expected! Usually we have to wait until the end of the season to start talking confirmed signings, but this season Port have got stuck in to their transfer business early and there are already two pretty-much confirmed signings, with one more that is likely to be confirmed in the near future. As always, bear in mind that even transfers that have already been confirmed can quickly become unconfirmed. We do our best to separate the rumours from the reality, but it’s a tricky business!
The headline news is the arrival of 30 year old Kim Sung-Hwan, a tall South Korean who will add strength and experience to Port’s midfield. With Genki having said his goodbyes to PAT Stadium last Saturday, Kim will be taking the AFC foreigner spot in 2018. He arrives from Korean powerhouse Ulsan Hyundai, who he has played 83 games for since 2013, and captained several times in 2017. I haven’t seen him in action yet – besides this Youtube clip – but Ulsan are one of the top teams in the K League, so Port fans can expect to be signing an excellent player. So far, so good…
Port’s other confirmed arrival is Chakrit Rawanprakone, a left-footed forward/winger who has joined from Korat. Chakrit was in and out of the Korat first team in 2017, scoring 4 goals and providing 2 assists. He has been brought in to challenge for the left-wing berth, which already has many suitors in Port’s squad, although a few of those are likely to move on in the transfer window. Yes, Tana and Narakorn, I’m looking at you.
A third reported but as-yet unconfirmed signing is Athibordee Atirat, a versatile 25 year old also from Korat. Swatcats’ occasional captain Athibordee can play at the back or in midfield, so should be a useful guy to have around, but is unlikely to be in the first XI. The new Ittipol, basically. Athibordee has apparently already been seen training at PAT Stadium, so this one is in the ‘very likely’ column.
Here are a few conclusions I’m drawing from Port’s little shopping spree.
- Getting transfers done early is usually a good idea. The more time the new players have to train together and get used to the club, the better the team likely to start the season.
- The biggest weakness in Port’s first XI has been identified and addressed. Having Kim in the team in place of Adisorn should make a huge difference.
- Port’s two Thai transfers may not be particularly inspiring, but at least we’ve upgraded our bargain basement from BBCU to Korat.
Stay tuned for more transfer news. There will be a lot of moving and shaking in the coming weeks, and as always we’ll do our best to keep you updated.