Heading into his third season in the English Premier League (EPL), Hwang Hee-chan (27, Wolverhampton) has been dealt a blow as he parted ways with his manager.

“The club acknowledges differences of opinion with head coach Julen Lopetegui (Spain) on certain issues and has agreed that an amicable termination of the contract is the best solution,” Hwang’s Wolverhampton club said on Monday (Aug. 9). Lopetegui, who was appointed in November last year, was relieved of his duties after just nine months in charge.

It’s also bad news for South Korean international striker Hwang Hee-chan. Lopetegui didn’t make him a regular starter, but he showed his trust by giving him consistent playing time. After scoring five goals in 38 games under former coach Bruno Raz, Hwang has scored four goals in 19 games under Lopetegui. He was recognized as a reliable substitute and saw the field regularly.

However, with Lopetegui’s departure, Hwang will have to fight for his place once again. “I will try to make it the best season I can,” Hwang said when he left the country last month. The coaching change came before the season even started, especially after he warmed up with a powerful left-footed shot that rattled the net in a pre-season friendly against Stade Rennes (France) on May 5.

There is also the possibility that Hwang Hee-chan’s transfer rumors could be reignited. Local media outlets have cited “player recruitment” as the reason for Lopetegui’s departure. Wolverhampton have signed a number of players from the agency of super-agent Jorge Mendes (Portugal) over the past two years. However, the club has consistently finished in the mid-table of the EPL, let alone qualifying for Europe. The club spent a lot of money but didn’t make enough money, and several times during the season they were cited for possible UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) violations. Persistent violations of FFP can result in fines and point deductions. 안전놀이터

In the end, Wolverhampton were forced to part ways with seven first-team players this transfer window. Raul Jimenez (Fulham), Nabil Neves (Al Hilal), Adama Traore (FA), Joao Moutinho (FA), and Conor Cody (Leicester City) all left. On the other hand, there was only one new signing, Matt Doherty. He is contracted to Wolverhampton until 2026. The club can collect a transfer fee in the event of a sale. There is no guarantee that Hwang will be safe.

Meanwhile, The Athletic, the BBC, and others are reporting that former Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neill is the next manager of Wolverhampton. O’Neill guided Bournemouth to EPL retention in the 2022-23 season, but was subsequently sacked. Wolverhampton will kick off the 2023-24 EPL race on Sept. 15 with an away match against Manchester United.

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