Stanislav Iljutcenko signs with FC Seoul
FC Seoul on Tuesday announced the signing of forward Stanislav Iljutcenko from K League 1 rivals Jeonbuk Hyundai Motor, taking the German striker to his third team in Korea.
Iljutcenko arrived in the K League in 2019 with the Pohang Steelers. He scored nine goals in 18 matches in his debut season with the Steelers, before going on to score 19 goals in the 2020 season, making him the second-highest scorer in the league.
Iljutcenko then moved to Jeonbuk last season, where he scored 15 goals to tie for third place in the league. His departure from Pohang was also surprisingly magnanimous, with Steelers fans turning out to support him even in his first game against their own club.
This season the German forward's goal-scoring form has dropped significantly, with just two goals in 17 games so far this year. FC Seoul are confident Iljutcenko still has lots to offer, especially as he will be reunited with former Pohang goal-scoring partner Aleksandar Palocevic.
"He is already a proven scorer in the K League," FC Seoul was quoted as saying," and he can create his own space and play well off his teammates. He plays with a lot of savvy and poise in front of the net. He is also a consummate professional with great work ethic."
Iljutcenko and Palocevic combined to score 33 goals in the 2020 season, the highest goal-scoring partnership in the K League that year.
FC Seoul are currently struggling in ninth place in the K League with 23 points after winning just five of their 21 games. With the 10th, 11th and 12th teams in the KBO all facing either direct relegation or a playoff, Seoul sit just one point outside the potential relegation zone.
Ulsan Hyundai are the league leaders on 44 points, followed by Jeonbuk on 39 points and Pohang on 36.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]