Ko Young-jun (22-Pohang Steelers) has been recognized as the top second striker in the Korean Professional Football League 메이저놀이터.

American data firm Asian Football Analytics Zone has released its 2023 K League 1 Second Striker Rankings, based on players who have played at least 450 minutes. Go topped the list, ahead of Suwon FC’s Murillo (29-Brazil).

“Based on our scouting data, we expanded our scope to include central and attacking midfielders to quantify who is best suited for the role of second striker in the Korean Professional Football League out of 100,” said Asian Football Analytics Zone.

A soccer talent search company founded in Italy by US-based Agile Sports Technology, WeScout deploys more than 80 people around the world to evaluate players and matches. It has excellent video analysis and digital database capabilities.

Ko Young-jun (71.2 points) is the only player in the K League 1 this season with a second striker suitability rating above 70%. Murillo received a score of 67.0 from the Asian Football Analytics Zone.

According to the Asian Football Analytics Zone, Ko ranks in the top 10 percent in six categories: percentage of defensive contests won, free kicks won, goals expected excluding penalties, goals to shots ratio, goals per shot average excluding penalties, and touches on the ball in the penalty box.

Go is also among the top players in the 2023 K League 1 according to the Korean Football Association statistics, ranking 2nd in Match MVP, 2nd in Best 11, 3rd in Free Kicks, 4th in Effective Shots, 5th in Goals, and 8th in Offensive Points.

The Asian Football Analytics Zone ranked the French Ligue 2 as the stage most similar to Ko’s style of play this season. Other European second-tier leagues such as the English Championship (5th) and Italian Serie B (6th) also have high similarities.

Narrowing down to specific teams, he found that Swansea (2nd), Coventry (6th – England), Socceroos (7th), and Saint-Etienne (9th – France) are all good matches for Ko Young-joon.

Ko has 16 goals and 13 assists in 107 games, including cup competitions, for Pohang. His averages of 57.8 minutes and 0.42 attacking points per 90 minutes are impressive for a midfielder in his early 20s.

In the Korean Professional Soccer this year, his 77.5 minutes per appearance and 0.54 offensive involvement per 90 minutes are approximately 1.34 and 1.27 times better than his career averages. His productivity in big matches, such as the K League 1 Final Round (0.81) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (0.50), is also positive.

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