Lopetegui must unleash “excellent” Wolves gem who's had more shots than Messi in Qatar - opinion


After some impressive displays at the World Cup with South Korea, Julen Lopetegui should consider unleashing Hwang Hee-Chan at Wolverhampton Wanderers later this month.

The former RB Leipzig man was selected by the Taeguk Warriors for the tournament in Qatar despite his poor form with the Old Gold, which had seen him manage no goals and just one assist in his 11 Premier League appearances ahead of the break.

Those performances had seen him average a shocking 6.15 rating from WhoScored, although he was only afforded three starts, so perhaps he should be given more of a chance to show what he can do under the new manager.

After missing the first two games of South Korea’s World Cup through injury, Hwang returned to devastating effect against Portugal, netting a last-gasp winner to send them through to the knockout stages.

Although they were then outclassed by Brazil in the round-of-16 fixture, losing 4-1, the Wolves man was a constant threat throughout, managing an impressive four shots on target in his only start of the tournament.

Ally McCoist, who was commentating on the game that evening, described his performance as “excellent” and praised him for his effort to keep going, despite Brazil’s dominance.

Despite only featuring in 116 minutes of World Cup action, Hwang would register six shots in total, which saw him average 4.7 shots per 90 according to FBref.

Lionel Messi has, somewhat unsurprisingly, been one of the standout stars in Qatar and leads the way for Argentina with three goals (ahead of their quarter-final against the Netherlands on Friday evening), but he has averaged just 4.25 shots per 90 thus far.

Hwang is only ranked behind Marcus Rashford, Kylian Mbappe and Tunisia’s Youssef Msakni in that statistic, which suggests that it was an impressive World Cup for the Wolves man, and he deserves more opportunities when the Premier League resumes.

Given how much the Old Gold have struggled in front of goal so far this campaign, starting a player who clearly loves to shoot is surely a good idea for Lopetegui, as he looks to rescue a desperate situation at Molineux, starting with a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton on Boxing Day.