What had been talked about since Tuesday has now finally been confirmed by both involved clubs: 28 year old South Korea international joins die Schwarzgelben on a contract until 2018. As is custom in the Bundesliga, terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, multiple reports suggest, however, a fee of around three million Euro.
Park, a left back who can also play in defensive midfield, will most likely back up Marcel Schmelzer, who has been injury prone over the last few years, being especially susceptible to muscle injuries.
He has won 26 caps for South Korea so far, earning a call up to their World Cup squad in 2014 as a replacement for Kim Jin-su from Hoffenheim. Park did not, however, not feature in South Korea’s rather disappointing three games in Brazil.
He started all six games for his country at the 2015 AFC Asian cup, where South Korea lost in the final to host nation Australia after extra time. Park played exclusively in midfield during the tournament.
For Mainz, Park accumulated 44 apperances in the Bundesliga, 27 of which came under BVB head coach Thomas Tuchel in his final season at the Rhineland-Palatine side. Park scored once and assisted four goals during his time at Mainz. He had left Swiss top club FC Basel for Mainz in 2013, after spending two years there. While at “the other other FCB”, he picked up valuable experience in both Champions and Europa League, playing a total of 17 matches in the two competitions.
Park will be the third South Korean to don the yellow and black jersey, following, coincidentally, another fullback in Lee Young-pyo, who spent the 2008/2009 season at the club, and attacker Ji Dong-won. While Lee quickly became a fan favorite, Ji never featured in a single competitive match for Borussia. He was sold after just half a season, re-joining FC Augsburg in this year’s January window.
For Park’s (and BVB’s) sake, let’s hope he has a more successful time at the club than his compatriots.