The Spanish top-flight club Valencia CF has released their South Korean prodigy Lee Kang-in. With this release, the club is concluding a highly-rated playmaker’s 10-year association with the club.
Valencia had once believed so highly of the young Korean talent that they introduced a reported 80 million euros ($94.39 million) buyout clause in his contract which taking into consideration his age was a mammoth clause.
Although on Sunday, they announced the 20-year-old’s exit with just a brief statement on their website.
“Valencia CF announces that they have terminated their contractual relationship with Kang In Lee,” the statement said.
“The South Korean player arrived at the VCF Academy at the age of 10 and this concludes his stint as a player at our club.”
“Valencia CF wishes him luck for his future.”
Lee was a young prodigy back in his country of South Korea as well and was believed to be the successor to Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min and although he scored three goals with the Olympic team in Tokyo, he was left out of the national team squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and Lebanon.
Lee was a golden ball winner at the 2019 U-20 World Cup and Asian Young Player of the Year and started 14 times last season as Valencia concluded their season at 13th position. Despite his decent individual performance, Lee has not featured in the squad at all this season.
Even though Lee was shocked after the club’s decision he thanked the Spanish Club for the opportunity they provided and for his overall development as a footballer.
“My family and I left home and came to Spain in 2011 to pursue my dream of being a professional soccer player,” he wrote on social media.
“Valencia CF is the team that opened the door to that dream for me and supported me. That’s been the precious value that I cannot forget, even this moment as I leave this team.”
“With this team, I grew not only as a player but as a human being. What I learned at the Valencia CF academy will be the motor that will guide my future on the right path.”