Bruce tips Ji for success
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce believes new-boy Ji Dong-won can have the same impact as compatriot and Man United ace Park Ji-sung.
Last Updated: 11/10/11 3:02pm
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce believes new South Korean signing Ji Dong-won can have the same impact in the Premier League as compatriot and Manchester United ace Park Ji-sung.
Striker Ji arrived at the Stadium of Light in the summer from native club Chunnam Dragons but is yet to start a game for the Black Cats, having made six substitute appearances.
Bruce, who was due to watch the 20-year-old in action for his country against United Arab Emirates in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, says he is letting the youngster settle in on Wearside before he gives him a chance in his starting line-up.
The manager believes Ji can mirror the success of United ace Park, who was the first Korean player to make waves in English football after arriving at Old Trafford in 2005.
And following Park's retirement from the international stage, Bruce says Ji is viewed as the next big thing in South Korea.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "We have been invited by the Korean FA to the game against the United Arab Emirates, and it gives me an opportunity to see Ji in action for his country.
"Ji plays up front with the lad from Arsenal (summer arrival Park Chu-Young), but in his country Ji is the rising star - he's the new Park Ji-sung, if you like.
"I've been impressed by him since he arrived here at Sunderland and eventually he will get his chance, but at the moment I am just letting him settle in gradually.
"There is a clamour from the supporters to see him play, of course there is, but I have to make sure we don't throw him in at the deep end until he is fully ready.
"In my experience, almost all players who come to England from abroad need a bit of time to get used to living here and learn the language. But when he gets his chance, he will be fine."