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Watford hand former South Korea icon Park Chu-Young a chance to earn a place at this summer's World Cup
Watford’s new signing Park Chu-Young has seen his stock fall dramatically in recent years but the former South Korea icon now has the chance to earn a place at this summer’s World Cup.
The South Korea international, who is also referred to as Ju-Young Park by some, had a good goal scoring record at his previous clubs Monaco and FC Seoul and was an icon in Asia before he joined Arsenal in 2011.
But the 28-year-old has failed to break into the Gunners side in the past three years and his career has suffered.
Chu-Young had been a regular for South Korea until last year, averaging around a goal every three games, and he has often captained the team in the past.
And he received a boost earlier this month when the manager of South Korea, Hong Myung-Bo, suggested he would be keen to take the player to the World Cup in the summer - which would be Chu-Young's third consecutive World Cup.
"I can take Park Chu-Young and even Park Ji-Sung to the World Cup," Hong told the Chosun Ilbo.
"It is true that Chu-Young has not been able to maintain the best feel of the game because he hasn't been playing for his club. But a player who can act as a psychological leader among the players will help the team greatly, and in my opinion, Chu-Young can do that.
"This World Cup takes place immediately after the European league season ends, unlike the London Olympics in 2012. This makes it even more difficult for Chu-Young to be in his top form when he joins the national team," said Hong.
But he did state "the addition of Chu-Young to the national team would give it an overall boost thanks to his leadership and experience."
Chu-Young won a host of individual and team awards at youth level and in his first few years as a professional, finishing as top scorer in the K-League.
He earned a move to Monaco in 2008 and was a regular, although he only scored five goals in 35 games in all competitions during his first year in France.
The record became nine goals in 33 matches the following campaign and during the 2010/11 season he netted on 12 occasions in 35 games.
His form for club and country was enough to persuade Arsene Wenger to go back to his old club to sign the player in 2011.
Chu-Young was said to be quick, good in the air, technically strong and capable with both feet.
But he has been unable to earn a place in the Gunners squad with any kind of regularity.
He was limited to just eight minutes in the Premier League and five cup appearances during his first season at the club.
Wenger decided to loan out Chu-Young last season and he scored five goals in 25 outings for La Liga side Celta Vigo.
This season he has been limited to one substitute appearance and has been an unused sub on four other occasions.
His only Arsenal goal came in the 2-1 Capital One Cup win over Bolton Wanderers in October 2011.
Prior to Chu-Young’s move to Watford, South Korea boss Myung-Bo also said: "Park had an edge over other players in the national team for the 2012 London Olympics because all strikers including him were being used as substitutes [at club level]. But now things have changed and we have a number of strikers who are regularly playing for their clubs, so it's hard to choose Park given that he's not getting time on the pitch."
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