Chung-Yong Lee has barely featured in the first-team since the arrival of Roy Hodgson back in September, leaving him devastated to discover that his dream loan move back to Bolton Wanderers had been cancelled at the very last minute on Deadline Day.
With the 29-year-old’s contract at Selhurst Park set to expire at the end of current campaign, I don’t think anyone would blame him for trying to get some game-time between now and May in a bid to be selected by South Korea for this summer’s World Cup.
Drawn alongside Sweden, Mexico and Germany in the group stage, Lee and his teammates will be facing a formidable task if they are to advance but without playing regularly, the chances of him being selected to take part are getting slimmer by the day.
Speaking directly to the local press about the failed move back to the North West, Chungy wasted no time in admitting that he was truly gutted to hear that the club had pulled the plug, with he and his family having already packed their stuff in preparation for the journey. Obviously, there was little he could do about it once the decision had been made by the Palace hierarchy but even so, I’m sure we can all empathise with his frustrations.
After being selected as an unused substitute for Saturday’s 3-1 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park, Lee will no doubt be wondering if he’ll ever be given another opportunity to impress by Roy Hodgson. The gaffer doesn’t appear to be keen on making in-game tactical tweaks at the best of times and despite our current injury crisis, his refusal to consider the likes of Lee or Erdal Rakip against the Toffees suggests that neither feature highly in his thoughts as things stand.
From the outside looking in, the decision to keep him in SE25 is simply a way of allowing us to name a full 18-man squad from week to week whilst we deal with an injury list that is 10 names long. It may not be a particularly pleasant experience for Lee but given our current plight, it’s all hands to the pump.