Posted on

‘Crazy talent’ is not an understatement. After leading Korea to the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup last year, Bae Joon-ho, 21, has been on fire on the European stage. After playing in the K League, he moved to Stoke City in the English Championship ahead of this season, and it didn’t take long for him to break into the first team, where he has made his presence felt with goals in his last two games.

Bae started the home match against Middlesbrough in the 35th round of the 2023-2024 English Championship at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, England on Wednesday. He was deployed as a left wing forward in a 4-3-3 formation.

He scored the game-winning goal in the 40th minute. After receiving a pass from Milion Manhoef, he overcame a tough tussle with an opponent in the center of the field, dribbled forward, beat two defenders, and finished with a sharp right-footed shot. The goal was a combination of incredible body balance, delicate dribbling, and a knife-edge shot that flowed effortlessly. It was his second consecutive goal in as many games, following a 1-2 away loss to Cardiff City in Round 34 on February 25th.

Beyond being a starter, he has become a ‘mainstay’ for the team. Has scored two goals and provided three assists this season, including back-to-back goals in the last two games. He settled in quickly after joining the club and was included in the first team, adding value with his versatility by playing in multiple positions. He has played as a left wing-forward and winger, as an attacking midfielder and shadow striker, and occasionally as a first-choice striker, making him the centerpiece of Stoke City’s attack.

Against the U20s, he showed the same skills he showed in Hana Citizen that he has on the European stage. He scored an assist with an incredible touch reminiscent of Dennis Bergkamp, and showed off his ‘genius’ with daring one-on-one runs and incisive passes. More recently, he’s been a direct fixture, scoring goals himself, and has emerged as a new hope for the relegation-threatened Stoke City.

Stoke City won the match 2-0 thanks to Bae’s goal. The win ended a two-game losing streak in the league and gave them their 10th win of the season (D8, W17) and 38 points. They are 22nd out of 24 teams, still in the relegation zone. However, they are only four points behind 15th-placed Swansea City, leaving the door open for a mid-table finish.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *