Newcastle midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng has never fulfilled his promise since making the switch from Swansea to Tyneside, and it seems he now wants to leave the club in January.
With only three appearances to his name since Steve Bruce’s arrival, it seems clear he is not considered a major part of the new manager’s plans, and leaving the north east would appear the best outcome for everyone.
His father, Kim Young-ok, confirmed Ki’s desire to leave when speaking to Korean broadcaster KBS, while also admitted to hoping Newcastle may let him leave for nothing.
He said: “He’s trying to find a new home in January next year, and the contract with Newcastle is through May. The key is whether the club will consider freeing them as a free agent.”
Ki has always struggled to cement a starting place in the side, and has largely failed to prove he deserved one when offered the odd opportunity, whether starting or as a substitute.
In fact, with the emergence of the Longstaff brothers over the past year, he has now found himself behind both of them to even find a place on the bench.
And with the new-found form of Jonjo Shelvey, as well as Isaac Hayden, it looks a long way back to the first team for the South Korean.
Ki could be dropped from the 25-man squad if he stays at Newcastle
There has been talk of Bruce looking to sign another midfielder in January – Granit Xhaka, of course, has been widely mentioned – and if that is the case, and Ki stays at the club, it is likely to be he who is omitted from Bruce’s 25-man Premier League squad to make room.
It is an interesting dilemma as to whether Newcastle would allow him to go for free, however, with them having signed him for nothing just 18 months ago.
So rarely has he played, it is doubtful that Newcastle could expect anything other than a nominal fee at best, and cutting their losses and letting him leave as a free-agent would look to be the common sense decision for everyone.
Ki has never complained openly, and has acted like the consummate professional, and there is no doubt he always gave his best when he played, and unfortunate that it was just not enough.
So we would be the first to thank him for his efforts, and wish him well, should he depart St James’ Park next month.