South Korean forward Ji Dong-Won has signed for FC Augsburg for an undisclosed fee is has been confirmed by Sunderland officials today.
The 22-year-old will link up with the German club where he spent a successful loan spell last season, scoring five goals in 17 appearances whilst helping them escape relegation also.
Ji found starts hard to come by since he was signed by Steve Bruce in 2011 making only six over a two-year stint. With his contract due to expire at the end of this campaign, the Black Cats saw fit to cash in, albeit, the fee will be nowhere near the £5 million Paolo Di Canio reportedly turned down over the Summer last year from Borussia Dortmund.
Di Canio did include the Korean in his squad ahead of the new season while he was in charge, only to later humiliate him, when he openly criticised the former Chunnam Dragons man after the Crystal Palace game and then hauled him of minutes in the second half of a League Cup against MK Dons.
Negatives aside, it was a shame that Ji failed to adapt to the pace of the Premier League. During some of the cameos he made for Sunderland, he did show some potential but in the end, it was to no avail, even manager Gus Poyet was in a predicament when asked whether he could play some part in the squad or indeed, where.
But with the World Cup year in full swing so far this year, his prospects of making the squad may have started to look a little bleak, which must be one of the reasons he has decided to join the German outfit in order to make the South Korean team.
With the transfer now complete, the wage bill will read that little bit better with another player off the books at the club. The departures of Cabral, who joined Genoa on loan last week, along with David Vaughan at Nottingham Forrest too, it may now allow room for new faces to come in.
Ji’s goal against Manchester City will live long in the memory of those that witnessed it and a personal highlight for him also, as well as Martin Tyler, who cried “Jiiiiiiii” during his commentary of the match and still is quite the catchphrase around Wearside. Albeit adapted to his countryman, Ki Sung-Yeung.